If you feel like ready to see part of Japan in all its complexity, take a learning tour of a tsunami-hit community with a volunteer guide. A kataribe storyteller of the Oku-Matsushima Tourism Volunteer Association will ride with you in your car, and show you around the town of Oku-Matsushima, where over 1,000 residents were lost on March 11 2011. You’ll visit sites where the government is constructing controversial seawalls to protect the town from future tsunami, a DIY refuge that saved 70 lives, and areas where entire neighborhoods were swept away. Mr. Kishima, our guide, took us to his home perched on an old quarry site, where the entire neighborhood evacuated. Of the twenty residents in his tight-knit community, seven people were swallowed by the sea. For non-Japanese speakers, the Higashimatsushima Tourism & Products Association will arrange for an interpreter. This is powerful stuff.
May 25, 2016
Oku-Matsushima Tourism Volunteer Association
5, Shinguumae, Onoji, Higashimatsushima-shi, Miyagi-ken
Higashi-Matsushima Tourism & Products Association
http://www.okumatsushima-kanko.jp (Japanese only)