Through ghost towns to Ishinomaki
Japan be strong!
Today was another one of these extraordinary days on the Sanriku Coast. You wake up in a nice ryokan after a fun evening drinking Turkish beer (yes, yes - Turkish beer in Japan!) in Hiraizumi and eating some great food (what treats we got at hotel Musashibo!) and in the morning you hit the road to go to the next destination. Today we took the long road to see the consequences of the tsunami as much as possible. And what we saw was amazing.
Train line swept away by the tsunami. The road we took actually passes under the birdge , quite scary.
One of the few remaining buildings in Minamisanriku - the fire station.
Bespoke shrine in front of the fire station
A lot of the coastal areas sank after the earthquake. Today was a normal day, no rain - but look how close the water is to the bridge
At the coast we drove through the town of Minamisanriku - or what’s left of it. The town was literally swept away for a 16 meter high wave. That’s almost the hight of a 6 floor building smashing into you. In the case of Minamisanriku, it swept away around 90% of the buildings - only the tallest remain (and that’s only a handful) - as well as about half of the town’s population. and I’m talking about a town, not a 5 house village.
We stopped for lunch in the new town center made of temporary buildings. Imagine a shopping center made of portacabins.
Minamisanriku shopping center - made of portacabins
From there we continued driving to Onagawa, where the wave was strong enough to topple 3 storey high concrete buildings.
Three storey concrete bulding toppled over by the wave
The sheer scale of devastation is really incredible - even 2.5 years have gone by already.
After all those incredible sights I arrived in Ishinomaki and had to rush to the offices of Ishinomaki FM, where I was interviewed for a program that will be aired tomorrow at 11am. A truly amazing day.
I can't belive that my first ever radio interview was in Japanese...