Fall 2013 NSP Tour (3: Seeing sites)

One thing I had planned for the October trip was the itinerary outline to drive up northbound. There were places I had to see for myself. Not knowing what to expect, nor what discovery awaited, I set off and hit the Sanriku coastline.

Stopped at the first convenience store.

I kept stopping at convenience stores looking similar to this one. Each storefront would get crowded with workers driving up on 1-ton double-cab trucks on the way to work sites in the morning.

There still are a number of bridges broken by quake or lost in tsunami along the road and railroad.

This place had long been a ruin, and was pushed into water by the quake (as I learned later). It once was an amusement park, whose location reminds me of other ruins such as Otamoi Drachenhaus in Hokkaido and Saltair Park in Utah, USA.

It is really scary that tsunami reached this high at the mouth of a cove, not deeper inland.

The ruins of Minamisanriku Disaster Prevention Headquarters building. In the town of Minamisanriku, where the township was swept away by the tsunami in a blink of an eye, this is a symbolic place where more than 40 people perished, including a staff member who was on mic till the very end warning townsfolk of the approaching tsunami, in the water level that unexpectedly exceeded the roof of this three-story building by two meters. I visited this site just around when the policy was set to demolish the building, but the decision seems to have been subject to further reconsideration lately. Also as seen in the surrounding landscape, reconstruction of the tsunami-hit areas has only just begun after more than two years and a half. In the background, nearer the ocean, you can also see the construction work in progress to raise the ground level altogether.

This sign says, “Sowed sunflower seeds in the garden of this house.” All we have got left is hope.

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