Tokyobling's Blog

Sakamoto Station – Miyagi

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 15, 2011

Certainly it wasn’t a very famous station, but the area surrounding it used to be quite beautiful. When I drove past it a couple of weeks ago, I had to check and double check with my GPS to make sure I had found it. Sakamoto station on the Joban line is just 5km north of the border between Miyagi and Fukushima. It used to be that you could ride all the way up here from Nishinippori station in Tokyo, now, most of the tracks along the coast, as well as several stations have been destroyed by the tsunami. Only one of the two platforms remain, as well as the stairs connecting them with the station house and the concrete restrooms, remains. The station house itself, the trains, all gone. The station itself is in Yamamoto Town, inside Watari County, Miyagi Predecture.

Google map coordinates are as follows (copy and paste into a search box on your browser and click maps): 37.9284500000,140.9126400000

An ambulance crew dispatched from Nagoya are preparing to transport bodies (most likely to the makeshift morgue in Sendai). Nagoya is quite far away, ambulance, police and firefighters from all over Japan have taken turns clearing out area after area along the coast).

Stairs, platform and in the background the tent set up to receive bodies. They had just finished when I arrived.

A childs dress shoe lies washed up near the platform.

14 Responses

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  1. amblerangel said, on April 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I don’t know how you can do this.


    • tokyobling said, on April 19, 2011 at 6:41 am

      Neither do I any more. I thought I would be ok but it is pretty rough. I guess we don’t know just how week we are until it really matters.


  2. Angela said, on April 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Me neither amblerangel, it is totally heartbreaking, but so important that you share these photographs with the world.


    • tokyobling said, on April 19, 2011 at 6:42 am

      Thank you for the support and warm words Angela!


  3. lina said, on April 16, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Such devastation.

    But thanks for sharing. We need to know the affects and the suffering the residents there face.


    • tokyobling said, on April 19, 2011 at 6:43 am

      Thank you for the kind comment and welcome to Tokyobling! Please see the posts before March 11th for a happier Japan!


  4. fritz said, on April 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

    woah… nothing left standing but the stairs…. I believe I passed through the station while going up north..

    I wanted to ask you, can I use some of your pictures for a post in my blog around the tsunami? It’ll illustrate an interview of people working there.


    • tokyobling said, on April 19, 2011 at 6:45 am

      Thank you Fritz. I read your blog, it’s well written as usual. Nice find with that interpreter!


  5. Timi said, on April 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    The little shoe is the most sad one. Still, the sky is so bright and blue above everything.


    • tokyobling said, on April 19, 2011 at 6:46 am

      I know, the photos are strange, the scenes and the beautiful sky just doesn’t match up… I felt it as I was travelling through the area as well…


  6. sixmats said, on April 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Couldn’t you ride the Joban from Ueno, or is my memory failing me?


    • tokyobling said, on May 6, 2011 at 4:24 am

      Hi Sixmats! Yes, your memory is perfect. The joban line starts at Nippori and goes all the way up to Miyagi prefecture, along the coast.


  7. bel said, on September 19, 2011 at 7:05 am

    My grade 6 class was studing Earthquakes when I came across your photos.Wow I used to catch a train from this station everyday when I lived in Japan from 2000-2004. I was hoping to return oneday to show my daughter where she was born.
    6 month on and my thoughts are with you all.
    Bel from Australia.


    • tokyobling said, on September 20, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Thank you for the kind comment bel! This whole area used to be so lovely before the tsunami. The earthquake itself barely damaged the station but the tsunami flattened the whole area. It stil looks like this for miles and miles. I have some photos of areas that were untouched by the tsunami but shows some slight damage from the earthquake, some of the most resilient buildings where the traditional post and beam, timber frames Japanese houses and temples. Come back soon and bring some smiles from Australia, most of the people of Sakamoto are housed in a refugee center on higher ground just to the south-west of the town, I have some friends there too.


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