Wednesday, 11 May 2011


We arrived in Hachinohe at about one o'clock. Enough time to take a bit of a look around before his cousin Takeshi's wedding at 5pm.  The wedding was cast in some drama.   Take-chan (as Hiro calls him - but which makes Takeshi sound 4 years old...) and his wife had sent out their wedding invitations the weekend before the earthquake. With the tsunami affecting the port areas of Hachinohe and with both of them working at a local hospital, they felt torn about whether it was better to postpone the wedding till things had stabilized. After consideration, they decided to go ahead with it - after all I suppose a tsunami gives some perspective on not taking tomorrow for granted... 

I hadn't been to Hachinohe before but was impressed with upbeat feel to the city. Unlike much of Tohoku, particularly places in the shadow of the shinkansen lines, buildings looked fresh and well maintained, and there didn't seem to be the cancerous Aeon-ization  (the Japanese version of Walmartization) that has rotted the core of many regional cities. 

Four people were killed in Hachinohe after the earthquake and the phone and electricity blackout lasted for several days. It was several days before Take-chan was able to make contact with his parents in Aomori city.  In terms of earthquake damage, Aomori has has dropped off the radar in reporting in favour of places further south where much greater damage was sustained. There is still some evidence of damage in the city.

Trees along the foreshore.  Shell petrol station in the background
was operating again.

Debris along the foreshore - very orderly, and had presumably been
tidied up, but it was clearly not meant to be there.

We ate onigiri for lunch here - the seat was still fine - just in need of replanting

A rusted out boat washed up onto the foreshore being disassembled

The parking lot at Kabushima - a nesting ground for seagulls

From Kabushima looking north

The seagulls seem to have survived ok

From Kabushima looking north

The toilet block

No comments: