Leaving for Tohoku

At 6:30 pm Chie and I went to Ebisu where we packed our car to the brim with various things to bring to Kobuchihama and Fukukiura. Once we packed our car we went to KotoKoto for a quick dinner, then back home to sleep for a couple of hours before we started the long drive to Ishinomaki in the Tohoku area.

Ishinomaki Harbor

In the afternoon we had made 4 stops at different families to provide some supplies. Before we headed back to Tokyo we wanted to have a look at the Ishinomaki harbor. This was one of the areas that was most damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March. The coast line here sunk around 0.5 meter. The photo below shows a building that was on the dock just a few meters from the water. Now the ground floor is in water. In front of it you can see the light posts in the middle of a former road, which now looks more like a water way between what is now the new roads made of dumped stones and gravel.

From the harbor we continued to a mountain of dead cars. Here many cars that were destroyed in the Ishinomaki area during the tsunami have been collected and piled on top of each other.

Just passed the car mountain was an open space with nothing more than green grass growing between the only thing left of many houses, their foundations. This was a few hundred meters from the ocean and most houses here was swept away.

This final round trip in Ishinomaki was probably the most difficult part of the whole trip. Of course it is difficult to meet people that lost their homes and more but the people we met had such big smiles and seemed to be full of hope. Here the atmosphere was much worse, the only thing you could see was all the devastation and all the lives that had been destroyed.

Round Trip in Ishinomaki

Chie and I had breakfast at 8 am. Then we met Ishihara-san around 9 am to cross the road to buy some supplies for our round trip in Ishinomaki. We were going to visit people that lived in Fukukiura but that have now been forced to move to Ishinomaki due to the earthquake and the tsunami in March. Some of them have moved here so that there kids can be close to school as they family no longer have a car to drive them. Instead the husband takes a bus to Fukukiura every day to work on restarting the fishing business – a trip that takes 40 minutes by car.

We made about 4 stops at different places around Ishinomaki. It was strange to see how just living a block further up from the sea could make all the difference. At one place whole houses had been swept away or been destroyed beyond repair. The next block or so up they were intact and people went on with their “normal” life.