Oct 23, 2018

A unique workday in Japan: experiencing an earthquake van!

One of the great things about working for an international university is the diversity - it's a really cool place to get to meet people from a range of countries and backgrounds. What that also means, however, is that for some students, adjusting to life in Japan can prove difficult sometimes. Cultures, climates, customs...there are many things here that are completely different for people to get used to. Those differences even extend to the natural environment, and potential natural disasters that may occur.

Recently our local city office brought an earthquake van to the university to give students an understanding of what to expect if one occurs. For students hailing from earthquake prone nations this may not have been such a necessity, but for many students, an earthquake isn't something that they would ever really experience back home. I hadn't even experienced one before living in Japan (and thankfully I haven't experienced any major ones during my time here - touch wood).

The earthquake van can be programmed to replicate quakes at various Richter scale levels. Students were able to sit inside the van and get an idea of what the shaking would be like at different intensities.

A unique workday in Japan: experiencing an earthquake van! photo

I'm glad that the local city office arranged this - it definitely gave some perspective for our newbies to Japan about how to be earthquake ready.



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!


  • Candiajia1

    on Oct 24

    This is one more reason I enjoy reading your blogs ( pardon my loooooong absence- but I’m catching up!). I get so much insights, inspiration and knowledge about this home away from home. That’s a really cool concept. Is that just available at your university or elsewhere in Japan?

  • genkidesu

    on Oct 27

    @Candiajia1 you are so sweet! I missed seeing you on here! I am not sure if they're throughout Japan - it was our city office that brought their van to the university. I think they would be pretty common though as an educational tool!