A Walk Through Sendai to Remember
In March 2015, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction put Sendai on the map as a city with strengthened efforts to convey the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake and as a symbolic existence of the world disaster prevention. Let's go on a journey exploring their efforts while walking along the beautiful cityscape.
Center for Remembering 3/11
The Remember 3/11 Center, located on the seventh floor of the picturesque Sendai Mediatheque, was developed to encourage people to think about the impact the earthquake has had on local residents and to keep in mind how long it will take to recover from the outcome of the earthquake. Supporting photos and articles are exhibited on the second floor and the entire center truly has a community feel. You can even hang back and have a drink in the café, visit the shop offering some great products for local designers and check out the museum while you're there.
The unique aspect of this center that differs from the others is that it has been constructed as a multimedia studio where local residents, citizens and experts gather to record the recovery process and inform people about earthquakes and their effects on the community. Various forms of media are used and will be eventually stored in an Earthquake Disaster Recovery Archive. Residents are also able to use their equipment to record information and personal experiences following the earthquake. If you would like to be a part of the process, do not hesitate to get in touch with them via the website below.
Photo credit: Remember 3/11 Center (Sendai Mediatheque)
Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
The Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center, a place to learn about the Great East Japan Earthquake, has become paramount in helping local residents move past the earthquake by holding various events and gatherings where people can meet and interact. Furthermore, rooms are available for rent for those who would like to host their own events as well. The center also houses an exhibition hall where people can see images from the earthquake and the affected areas pinpointed on a map. And one of the features of this center is that you can learn about the lifestyle and culture of the locals. This is a great opportunity for those visiting to be educated firsthand on how the people of the region were affected and, more importantly, how residents are moving forward. The memorial community center is located 13 minutes away from Sendai Station via the Tozai Subway Line, and it can be found within the Arai Station building.
Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Sendai Arahama Elementary School
Arahama Elementary School, located in Sendai only 700 meters (2,296 ft) from the coast, was badly affected by the resulting tsunami from the 2011 earthquake that measured a magnitude of 9.1 at the epicenter. It took up to 70 minutes for the tsunami to hit the school, but the sheer strength of the water rushing through at a height that washed through the second floor was, thankfully, not strong enough to bring the school down. Trusting in the strong, concrete structure, the faculty members, students and the nearby public were able to take refuge on the rooftop of the school. The strong structure of the building is the foremost important aspect of ensuring that survivors remained at the school. Public schools (and some private schools) are all built to the same standards across Japan to withstand strong earthquakes and other disasters to not only protect the attending students but to also provide shelter in the aftermath.
The faculty staff members that decided it would be better to trust in the strength of the building despite the close proximity to the ocean, as opposed to the difficult task of finding shelter elsewhere, are celebrated for ensuring the survival of the 300+ people in the school. The Arahama Elementary School ruins are a testament to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Sightseeing & Shopping in the Sendai Port Area
The Sendai Port Area has since flourished in the aftermath of the earthquake and the Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium and Mitsui Outlet Park are concrete proof. If you visit the various locations around Sendai as mentioned in this article to learn about the Tohoku Earthquake, the port area is a great place to see how the city has moved forward in a positive manner. We recommend digesting all the information about the area's recovery efforts while shopping with the locals before making a visit to the modern aquarium established in 2015.