Day 20, Mar 19, Kamaishi-Otsuchi 釜石-大槌

After a day of rest, my body felt great. My mind, however, got rusty. Occasionally self-doubts flashed over my head. “Why am I here?”. “Does anyone care?”. The thoughts were soon interrupted by a 1400-meter tunnel. I knew the drill and went through. I asked a high school student to film. He was walking casually,…

Day 19, Mar 18, Kamaishi 釜石

My friend, Takashi, texted me yesterday. “Radiation level around Fukushima No1 nuc plant is doubled in the last few days. Maybe something is happening in damaged reactors. I recommend you wear mask.” I have not turned on my Geiger counter for a while. I checked, and the reading was hovering slightly above the baseline. I…

Day 18, Mar 17, Okirai-Kamaishi 越喜來-釜石

I took a photo from the dining room in the morning, trying to make sense of Miyuki’s story last night. The house was indeed high above the sea level. But the tsunami can climb. Huge concrete boxes filled the sight. Constructions like this are gradually erasing the visible signs of the disaster. 朝、昨夜ミユキから聞いた話を思い出しながら、食堂から写真を撮った。この家は確かに海面からかなり高い場所に位置している。だが津波は文字通り「登る」のだ 。巨大なコンクリートの箱が視界いっぱいに建てられている。こうした建造物が、目に見える震災の爪痕を少しずつ消していっている。 I…

Day 17, Mar 16, Ofunato-Sanriku 大船渡-三陸

I have been basing in Kesennuma for the last 5 days. I moved past the commuting range today, like a detached kite floating north. The walk started in heavy rain. Fortunately it did not last very long. The weather then switched between clear and thick clouds several times. I was having mood swings along the…

Day 11, Mar 10, Situation Room

I covered 185 kilometers in 9 walking days. My body has gotten used to the hike despite minor aches and pains. I weighed my backpack in Tokyo. It came up to 26 pounds. That was without food and water. I have to admit I was a little nervous since my average training weight was less…