Saturday, June 22, 2013

Enoshima part 1 the true forces of nature exposed

On the second day of my visit to Onagawa in Miyagi prefecture I was invited by Mayumi and Yusuke  to join them on a ferry trip to the nearby Island of Enoshima.
They had not visited the Island before but had heard it was hit by a tsunami in excess of 32 meters high in the March 11th disaster. It had presumably suffered terrible damage yet they had also been told people were still living there and had started working again. I wrote in a previous post about the seaweed harvest and processing we were lucky enough to see on our arrival.
You can read about that and see my photos here

Enoshima was a revelation, it was a beautiful sunny day when we visited and the first thing we saw was the wonderful hive of activity in the harbour as the residents worked on the seaweed harvest.
As we climbed up onto the island from the harbour area, all fell silent and the beauty of the location became apparent yet it was terribly scarred by the earthquake and tsunami. In addition, because of the reduced population, nature had been reclaiming the island in the two years since the disaster and many areas had become overgrown with bamboo.

All photos are clickable as always for more detail.

We took this nice comfortable ferry emblazoned with the town mascot 

The 30 minute ferry ride took us past the Onagawa Nuclear Power plant .
This facility survived the massive earthquake and tsunami unscathed. It is a more modern design than Fukushima as far as I could find out.

Enoshima is a small Island but prior to the disaster had a reasonable sized community and even it's own school . This map was just by the harbour and showed the location of the small islands relative to the mainland.

The water was calm and blue everything was still and the island had the feel of a tropical holiday destination in the sunshine and quiet 

As all of Japan is volcanic even little Enoshima takes the form of a steep mini mountain with many flights of steps and narrow little lanes required to navigate the village 

I'll add more photos in another post as there is too much to see for one blog entry, for now here are a few contrasting images showing the beauty of the island and the awesome power of nature unleashed.

Near the top of the main Island hill we stumbled upon this little graveyard and shrine. It must have been very beautiful in the past with it's flowering bushes and amazing views. Now every grave stone had been toppled by the earthquake ( this site was above the tsunami so escaped the water ) it's easy to forget with all the publicity of Fukushima and footage of the terrible tsunami that the disaster was sparked by a huge earthquake

The views illustrate what a beautiful place Enoshima still is for a visit and one can wonder what a day trip prior to the tsunami would have been like 

The wave may have reached 38 meters here and even after 2 years the damage is clear to see

The post office buildings washed away but this historic post box managed to stay put 

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At 8:58 pm , Blogger The Glebe Blog said...

Beautiful yet savage Mike. I'm still hopeful of visiting Japan one day.


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