Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sanriku coast part 1

A few years ago Hiro and I took a motor bike trip along the Sanriku Coast of Miyagi and Iwate.  Hiro biked to Sendai and I took the train. We travelled up from Matsushima to Miyako along the coast before going inland to visit Hiro's parents in Odate.  All of this area has been devastated by the tsunami. I have been meaning to upload pictures for a while.... it seems very timely to do so now...  It is beautiful coastline, but one that has suffered several major tsunami.  Unlike Chiba which is flat, there is little in the way of a buffer zone separating the sea from human settlement.  The Yamada trainline that runs along the coast here had been high on my priority list for a seishun 18 ticket trip.  Four Yamada line trains disappeared in the tsunami.  
I imagine some of the villages that have been wiped out will never be rebuilt.  They are too small, too isolated and in some cases I am sure there would be no-one left to rebuild.   The bigger towns will come back.  There was an article in yesterday's Mainichi newspaper reporting that one of the primary schools that was engulfed by tsunami - but from which students were rescued - was found with a message on the blackboard written by a teacher to calm and encourage the students:  "It's times like this that we should show compassion and thankfulness."

Omikuji - fortune slips at Zuiganji (temple) in Matsushima

Matsushima - it's particular famous as one of the three
most beautiful views in Japan according to the 17 century
Japanese poet Matsuo Basho 


Kamaishi from our hotel window. I assume the hotel has been swept away

Kamaishi from the hotel window - looking up the coast


An acute awareness of tsunami north of Kamaishi though they
are along the whole coastline
Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) statue at Kamaishi overlooking the  sea

A beach in Yamada machi

We went swimming here - Yamada machi - the water was
surprisingly warm.

I am not sure of the village name - it is the village where you start walking to
Todogasaki, the eastern most point in Honshu.
There are tiny isolated villages dotted along the whole coast -
logistics of trying assess the situation would be very difficult.
There would be no road access to many now.

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