Sunday, May 25, 2014

Otsuchi Town Photodump

During the summer program at The University of Tokyo last August 2013, we had the opportunity of visiting the tsunami-affected areas in the Tohoku District.

From Tokyo, we took a 10-hour night bus ride to Otsuchi Town in Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku District. Otsuchi town is one of the hardest-hit areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. It lost around 10% of its total population. The place may be quite familiar to people because of this photo:

photo from

One year and five months later, here is a view of Otsuchi from the hill. Very little land was occupied when we went there last August 2013 but we were told that there used to be a lot of structures before the tsunami. At the bottom of the photo, you can see a cemetery.


My co-participants and a volunteer of Otsuchi. Behind them is a mobile library.

Cranes: folding a thousand of them is said to be able to make a wish come true

We were divided into groups and given a tour guide (mostly teenage volunteers who are residents of Otsuchi). Our group's guide was Akane, a college freshman. We cannot talk to each other without a translator. However, when one of my Japanese co-participants talked to her about anime, we started to understand one another, lol.


Slope protection [against landslides]





Below is Otsuchi Elementary School. It was rebuilt with trailer material (a temporary situation).




Wind and solar energy for lamp posts

We had lunch at MAST department store, which I believe is the same building where the ferry in the first photo was resting on. It was back to normal when we went there.

Kaisendon (raw seafood on a bowl of rice) for lunch!

Black sesame ice cream after a long day of walking in the summer heat

A model representation of Otsuchi town before the tsunami

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