We arrived in Miyagi prefecture, near Sendai city. We are staying with Colin & Miyuki and their family. They have been so kind to us, and generous with their time.
We have enjoyed playing with their children Allison and Riku, who have been very excited to spend time with us.
Colin & Miyuki's town of Kashimadai is close to the epicenter of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. We drove to the coast to view the extent of the recovery. In summary, an amazing amount of work has been done, but their remains so much to be rebuilt.
The roads are fine. In lesser impacted areas approaching the coast, generally, buildings have been repaired and rebuilt. The towns and areas look like other Japanese towns, with the exception of a few places that look like they're under renovation.
In the town/city of Ishinomaki along the coast, there is devastation. In general, the land has been razed for miles. There are roads and a few factories. There are some remaining buildings that still have significant damage. There are some apartment buildings that remain.
There are enormous mountains of rubble and mountains of damaged cars, awaiting to be taken away. There is new temporary housing that was built to accommodate the homeless residents of the area.
The scene is heartbreaking, but people continue to live here, and to support the rebuilding effort. We saw a school right on the edge of the devastation area. It was Sunday afternoon, and their were children's teams in uniforms playing baseball. To me, it was very encouraging to see that life had returned to normal in this small way.