Tokyobling's Blog

Driving Through Ishinomaki

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 11, 2011

After doing the first drop off in Higashimatsushima, we continued through Ishinomaki along the harbor area to see the damage inflicted to the elementary school of my friend’s daughter. Ishinomaki was one of the hardest hit cities along the Miyagi coast and the nature of the heavy industries lining the water front made the impact of the tsunami even worse. The contents of factories and raw material producers spread out far and wide over the residential areas north of the harbor. This is a house that survived the tsunami but now lies half buried in rubble.

This car and metal roof sheeting was wrapped like tissue paper around a reinforced concrete pole, just on the corner to the Nippon Paper factory.

A Family Mart convenience store is structurally intact but completely blown out by the tsunami. Nothing remained inside, no trace of the ATM either.

Some water by the remains of the private railroad serving the huge paper factory just at the harbor entrance. You can see the metal containers caught by the tsunami just before entering the factory. The address sign in the second picture reads Okaido Higashi 2 Choume, 大街道東二丁目12.

You can see how high the tsunami reached on this blue building. The initial wave was probably taller though.

Whatever was inside this beautiful gate and walled compound must have special, now nothing remains. It was good to see that the some of the sturdiest buildings were the traditional Japanese.

“On Wings To the Future, Ishinomaki Harbor” reads the text on this map sign.

Looking up the road north towards Ishinomaki Futabachou.

What remains of the Nankou Transportation Corp., 南光運輸, the main office. Luckily they still have operations in many other places around the country. I hope they can get started again soon.

Passing a soba restaurant, Oikawa, facing the intersection with road 240.

Seven Eleven Convenience store on the corner by road 240. As you can see, everything up to this corner was heavily damaged, but if I am not mistaken this convenience store was open when I passed here again a week later. As you can see from the buildings behind, there is a sharp contrast between the areas hit by the tsunami and those spared. More pictures to come.

4 Responses

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  1. Lili said, on April 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Your action is so great and moving
    Pictures hurt me…
    I heard that today there was a new strong aftershock in northeast Japan.. I hope you’re fine . Take care of you!


    • tokyobling said, on April 12, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Thank you Lili! We will see many more pictures like this in the near future as more and more reports, blogs and photographers come out of the area. We have strong aftershocks every day recently, but we will be fine. The quakes are not that dangerous actually, the tsunami and the subsequent fires are far worse.


  2. shellie said, on April 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Such devasting and brutal imagery. It quite literally turns my stomach. I cant even imagine experiencing such scenes in person and what effect that may have on ones pysche.


    • tokyobling said, on April 15, 2011 at 6:04 am

      Thank you Shellie, for the comment. Yes, my first trip was shocking, on the second trip I tried to be more professional and not to think of the rubble as being someone’s home, but rather just an obstacle. It is the survivors we have to worry about. The dead are gone and there is nothing we can do to help them.


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