Travel Watch: In Japan Today, There's No Place Like Home

At the vacation resorts of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, the sands are as white and the sky as blue as anyone can remember. As usual, angelfish and sea tortoises swim lazily in the aqua sea; hardened lava cuts a black path down the volcanic mountainsides. Only one thing is missing: crowds of Japanese tourists.

One day of terror succeeded at doing what 10 years of recession could not. It persuaded the Japanese to stay home. While Americans began venturing back to the skies a month after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the Japanese...

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