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Early last November I spent five days traveling along the Sanriku coast in Iwate Prefecture, from Hachinohe in the north down to Kamaishi. Many of the small towns and fishining villages I visited are now destroyed, the survivors suffering through a lack of food, water, heating fuel and communicatioins.
What people are not seeing in the news from there is that this coastline is dotted with hundreds of small fishing villages and towns that are only now receiving outside aid and currently only accessible from air and sea.
This is a very remote part of Japan and tedious to get to in the best of times, with the coastal highway and rail line traveling right the coast, and with few access routes from the interior. The transportation infrastructure, therefore, is severly damaged so it is difficult to get aid to the earthquake/tusnami survivors.
I know that at least two places I stayed, a hotel on the coast in Tanohata and a Japanese inn (minshuku) right in the fishing harbor of Miyako, have been destroyed.
My purpose for being in this area in November was to explore it as a possible summer tour destination for the small group, countyside/eco tours I offer in Japan. It has spectacular natural beauty, warm and friendly people and lots of opportunities for outdoor activities, including adventure sea kayaking. Those plans are obviously on hold for now, but in the future I plan to return to Iwate Prefecture and contribute to the restoration of life and the economy there through eco tourism. I encourage eveyone to contribute generously to disaster relief in Japan.
posted 2 years, 2 months ago
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