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Ishinomaki: 19 months later.

Tamara wanted me to take her up north to see the area where the tsunami had hit last year, and so one night we found ourselves on an overnight bus, heading to the little city of Ishinomaki way, waaay up north. It was a weird, somber, and a little bit silly trip, since Tamara and I are such hams.

At least, while we were on the bus or at our hotel, it was silly. But when we stepped onto a street in the middle of a field where the worst of the damage had taken place, it was anything but.

It had been really hot in Tokyo (I’d left in a tank top), but Ishinomaki is about 6 hours North, so we were shivering in the freezing, light misty rain. It was overcast and freezing, and I pulled on a t-shirt and the sweater that I’d brought as an afterthought, “just in case.” It wasn’t nearly enough, though! It was SO cold!! (It wasn’t normal weather so much as due to a typhoon rolling in)

Want to hear more? Then click through…


We arrived on the bus at Ishinomaki station in the early, early, eaaaarly morning. It was only about 7, and raining, and freezing, freezing cold. Planning to check in and leave our bags at our hotel, we needed to actually take a local train two stations, and so we entered the train station.


We had to wait an hour for the next train. I thought that since Ishinomaki was one of the biggest stations in the area, it would have regular service. I was.. wrong. So, Tamara took video, while I snapped a few pictures to document our journey for my blog. ^^


You might have noticed, but there are cute anime characters everywhere. This is because Ishinomaki was the home of the manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori (creator of Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider. There are characters of his all over, and even a “manga street,” nearby! I didn’t go down the whole manga road, but I did see a few statues and paintings while heading back to the hotel later. They were pretty cool!

But anyways, at 7 am, the station was empty aside from us and the manga characters.


Apparently, this is a good place to sketch!


Kamen Rider, and Francoise and Joe from Cyborg 009. I haven’t seen much of either show, but I’m kind of curious about Cyborg 009 now!


This is a little cafe outside of the station, called, “Manga-town cafe (station).”

…original, right? ^-^;


The station had been so empty that it was a little bit eerie, but suddenly (finally) and swiftly, the train arrived, and people just poured out. It was literally like suddenly the station became wall to wall, filled with people. But Tamara and I watched safely from the slightly-heated “waiting room” next to the tracks.


They kept coming, and the rain kept getting harder!


“Ishinomaki.” And.. a rice ball, I guess?


We moved on, boarded the now-empty train, and took it a few stations away. Normally, I would have walked two stations, but this being in the country, it was a long time between stations and would have been about an hour’s walk. In the rain, with heavy overnight bags, cameras, video equipment, and NO jackets, it was a bit too far. ^^; So, train it was! We hopped on and off the train, walked the ten minutes to our hotel, where we couldn’t check in yet, but we could leave our bags, and then had them call us a taxi.

I felt like the rudest person in the world when I asked the driver to take us to where there had been a lot of tsunami damage, but he didn’t bat an eye. In fact, he knew exactly where to go, and judging by the people that we saw around, I think that it was a common request. It had also been over a year and a half since the earthquake, so there had been more than enough time to get tons of requests..

I don’t know whether it was rude or not to go to the area mainly out of curiosity, but I wanted to take pictures, and Tamara wanted to take footage to make a kind of documentary, and so.. there you go.

However I felt, or how I expected to feel, were all put aside as we rolled in…

And I will continue it next time!! Come back in a few hours to see and hear exactly what we experienced up there…


(334 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

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