Day2, Mar 1st, Soma 相馬

Mr. Mori said rain is in the forecast today. It may even snow on Sunday. My routing plan is to hug the shoreline as much as I can. Given the weather condition and yesterday’s initial shock, I decided to give my body a break. The majority of today’s walk was on Highway 6, one of the main roads connecting Tokyo to Miyagi Prefecture.

My body seemed to have recovered well enough. The walk was relatively uneventful and shorter than day 1. Fortunately it didn’t rain. There was a lot of traffic. In areas without pedestrian pavement, I could get a bit too close to the road. Most drivers are nice, though. They move away from me when possible. Yesterday a truck completely stopped and waited for me to pass, but that was in the middle of nowhere. There is no stopping on Highway 6.




I saw a broken bike on the side of a road, above ground level. It dawned on me that it could have been swept up here. The highway is only 2 kilometers from the water. I could almost imagine the waves crushing into the rice field, flowing as far as my eyes can see.



I arrived at the hotel at 2pm. It’s still early so I took my camera and looked for local participants. The view in the bay was beautiful. On my way to the fish port, I saw a tourist map about the area on a broken building. The street was once vibrant and filled with shops, restaurant, and hotels. It’s Saturday today, all I could see were construction workers.



I saw 3 girls playing by the boats. I approached them. They were shy for… 15 seconds. They loved my camera and one of them, Yasami, immediately volunteered to take video for me. They ended up taking turns. They said they’re 12 years old. I thought that’s exactly Vivian’s age had her been with us. After we finished, Yasami asked if I wanted to shoot on the outer barrier. They took me there and we got great footage. They were chatting and laughing the whole time. They asked if I were on vacation. I said this is the busiest vacation I’ve ever had. They said there were at school when the tsunami hit. Yasami’s grandfather owns a boat here. Fortunately he was ok.



During dinner, the son of the owner, Hiroyuki, came talk to me. He gave me big thumbs up for my Japanese. The hotel was flooded during the tsunami, but left relatively unscathed. They stayed in the hotel because the grandparents couldn’t leave. Hiroyuki showed me a map and explained how the hills by the ocean saved a small area here. Otherwise everything could have been wiped out. He played a tsunami video on TV taken near where I met the girls. The other guests came in and all of a sudden we had a tsunami conference. There are a lot of videos on youtube, but this one is different. I was watching it on location.



tsunami video

The hotel has a public bath and I took a nice hot soak. My body really needs it. Tomorrow I’ll be soaking in freezing rain.


Japanese translation by Takashi Arai  日本語訳:新井卓

Day 2, March 1st, GPS Track on Google Map, 13.4 kilometers

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