.:: Matsushima: 5 months and 18 days later ::.

August 25, 2011

March 11, 2011 – a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the cost of Matsushima, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in what would be known as the triple disasters of the Great Tohoku Earthquake.  Japan’s northeastern coast was devastated as the killer waves reached several miles inland, laying waste to everything in its path.

August 25, 2011 – Dawna and I visited the Matsushima Bay, the nearest point of land to the epicenter of the great earthquake.  Prior to the earthquake, the pine covered islands of Matsushima were known as one of the three most scenic places in Japan, the others being Miyajima in Hiroshima and Ama no Hashidate north of Kyoto.  Following the earthquake, the area was hard hit, though not nearly as bad as areas to the north or south.  This was due to the unique structure of the bay and the high hills that surround it.  Still, it did not escape unscathed and if you were to visit the area today you’ll find numerous tsunami warning signs and before and after pictures of the carnage.

Matsushima happens to be one of the major tourist spots of Sendai, so great efforts were made to clean the area so that it could be reopened to tourism and thus rebuild the economy.  When Dawna and I visited the area, we found an area that seemed to have been untouched.  There was no debris of any kind, the buildings look pristine, the road new, the iconic red bridges connecting the islands to land, and the sightseeing ships working as normal taking visitors on scenic cruises around the islands.  There were cranes on a few of the inhabited islands that were still moving debris and rebuilding houses, but otherwise the bay itself and the area around it seemed back to normal.

Posted in: Travel


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