Thursday, May 02, 2013

Onagawa part 1, the journey North. April 10th 2013

When I decided to take a holiday in Japan this year I really wanted to visit the town of Onagawa in Miyagi prefecture. I had been following the progress of its recovery from the Tsunami of March 11th 2011 via the internet and NHK World TV.  I'll be making a few more posts about my visit to Onagawa and will spread out the background for my visit between them so as not to get too wordy in one post.
For now I want to explain the journey I took to get there which was great fun in itself. I must thank Mayumi Suzuki for giving me excellent advice on how to make the journey and for meeting me from the train on my arrival. I must also say given I can't speak Japanese I was given excellent help along the way by J.R. staff.
I was staying in Nagoya for a few days before my scheduled stay in Onagawa so that's where I started my journey.  It went like this ...
I walked from my hotel to Nagoya Station and caught a Shinkansen to Tokyo Station, then transferred to a North bound Shinkansen heading for Sendai .

Then I needed to take the JR Senseki Line from Sendai station to Matsushima-kaigan station. From this point the railway lines are too badly damaged by the Tsunami to be used so I changed to a bus for Yamoto Station driving through the disaster area. I took a train from Yamoto Station to Ishinomaki Station and then changed trains to take a diesel unit to Urashuku which is the nearest working station to Onagawa. This stretch of line only reopened at the end of March 2013. The station in Onagawa was destroyed by the Tsunami.
I was met at the station in Urashuku by the "AK bus" and taken to my Hotel and then on a tour of Onagawa.
To see how long the journey is you can explore this Google map
Map of my trip

Here are some photos of the journey and as always they can be clicked to enlarge for more detail. Please note though that many of them were taken from train or bus windows so may not be great quality.

Nagoya at 6.00 am 

The countryside between nagoya and Tokyo with neat rows of tea bushes

Fuji san from the Shinkansen window 

Approaching Tokyo station

Heading North from Tokyo, Sakura and mountains

Passing through Fukushima station 

A colourful Kiosk on Sendai Station 

Matsushima-kaigan station from the bus window 

Matsushima bay from the bus window

Dry stacks of scallop shells possibly used for seeding baby oysters ?

The scale of the disaster area looking bleak even two years on 

A boarded up house and salt damaged grass

Debris still not cleared up after two years 

Yamoto station with my train approaching and the most helpful and prettiest railway employee I have ever encountered.  

Ishinomaki station 

My train at Urashuku station 

Inside the AK Bus signed by members of AKB48 who donated the bus to the town 

Not surprisingly it was pink 

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home