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Monday will be 13 years since the March 11, 2011 disaster. If you were in Japan, what are your memories of that day?


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working day at office,than driving to port.when passing sea over bridge felt some shaking asd if get flat tyre suddenly everyone on the road slowed down and traffic get completely halted.

when returned back to office heard abt earthquake at North.

than many problems followed....hardest part of life but we went through and we are still here.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We were living in Kobe when the powerful earthquake struck. We were not directly affected, but we watched the horror unfold on live TV. We witnessed people being washed away by the tsunami, which was incredibly sad. Not something to ever forget.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

We were at a meeting at the newly completed but not yet open Tokyo American Club when everything started shaking. All were evacuated out on to the very narrow street behind the club when the first aftershock hit knocking a few people down. lots of swaying cranes from construction sites above us (slightly nerve-wracking). a kuroneko yamato driver weaving through all of us to deliver a package to the club's security which was actually kind of darkly funny all things considered. that was also when we noticed people with this new smartphone thing could actually get messages through but those of us on the older style phones were out of luck (switched to an iphone soon after). also when I learned public payphones are free to use in the event of an emergency like that. We stopped at Tokyo Midtown to rest while walking back to our office so that was when we saw the first footage of the tsunami which just rendered everyone speechless.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I remember the sunny blue sunny sky, it was really nice weather, and knowing from watching some of the horrible images on TV that so many had died I was grateful that I was still able to appreciate the beautiful blue sky.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Immediately after there was almost no information in Tokyo. Cell phones didn’t work. A young mother in the office in tears because she couldn’t contact her son’s nursery. A colleague asked to borrow my bicycle so he could ride the 20 km home. I then walked the 5 km home with my JHS age daughter who happened to be near my office at the time. Streams of people walking towards Kawagoe. No vehicles moving. My wife arrived home in the evening after walking 15 km with a colleague from Nihonbashi.

And this was HUNDREDS of kilometers south of the quake- and tsunami-hit area!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The sound more than the jolt. Our buildings and the ones beside it rattling, humming, clacking, creaking and shuddering all at once and at a terrific volume.

Deciding whether our bicycle shelter would strong enough to protect us from falling debris. Running instead to a car parking lot and later watching the empty vehicles bouncing up and down during the many aftershocks.

Also, old people on the street of my Tokyo neighborhood remarking that the quake was the strongest they'd ever felt.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

i lived in ibaraki and was driving home from a golf renshujo. the car was bouncing, a large plate glass on a storefront shattered next to the car, and people were piling out of the stores. found out later that the ceiling above where i was at the renshujo collapsed.

power was out and cell phones were down. not much damage at home because we always had earthquakes under us. was lucky because no one had water just 1/2 km north.

no power, no heat, no lights, wrapped in blankets, waiting for the next aftershock after aftershock, not knowing how big it would be and thinking how helpless it felt. no control over what nature would do next.

we had power come on for short times, then more each day after. being directly downwind of fukushima and watching on tv the attempt to drop water on the plant with a helicopter, i realized we were screwed.

it was time to plan my escape from japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As always, I was amazed at the painfully slow response by the Japanese government.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Western Tokyo, I was riding my bike to the station, for an early rehearsal for my later jazz concert.

I didn't know why everyone looked drunk so early in the day, hanging on to each other for balance, until I saw the phone/electric wires swinging. When I got off my bike, I could not stand upright. I wanted to cry but didn't want to ruin my makeup. A guy nearby laughed at this. When the shaking finally stopped, he was gone. I was able to reach my son at university, but mobile phone service went out, directly after. Stood online to use a pay phone to try and reach club owner, and all musicians that the gig was all canceled...

Rode bike home, a few paintings fell down, turned on news to see how horrible it was going up north.

More shaking. Shopping for food became like a scavenger hunt, but it was orderly. I was thankful for my friends in area at that time. I remember thinking if I had to be in such a situation, better to be in Japan where people were all trying to help one another, and there was no looting.

A few days before trains were running again...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was a teacher at the time, halfway between Tokyo and Sendai. The staffroom we were in, on the fourth floor, shook for about 2-3 minutes. At first, I thought it was wind shaking an extractor fan which happened sometimes. When paper stacks started falling off the shelves, I finally realised that it was a quake, although my coworkers were way ahead of me and heading for the undersides of their desks.

After the main quake had seemingly ended the evacuation was called, and we all headed out to the main ground where we stood for about 30 minutes feeling the aftershocks and watching the media and emergency helicopters heading north overhead. Rolls were taken and everyone thankfully accounted for, although some students were overwhelmed by the whole thing and started to faint or have panic attacks. The staff from the sick rooms walked around looking after those students. We were instructed to go inside to quickly get our things and go home. The staffroom was a mess, covered in papers and a few coffee mugs, boxes etc had also fallen over.

When I got home, my snowboard that had been leaning against a wall had fallen over, taking the TV with it, and a few other bits and pieces had ended up on the floor. No serious damage. I spent that evening making sure my family knew I was okay, and getting in touch with friends up in Sendai and nearer to the epicentre. All well, thankfully.

Then, obviously, I was glued to the media coverage of the quake, tsunami and unfolding nuclear crisis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We were a few weeks from graduating from high school then. I remember seeing in the news footage of the tsunami sweeping everything. I have no relatives in Japan, but I thought to myself then, even for a disaster-prone country such as Japan, this is just too much. A powerful quake followed by a tsunami and a threat of a nuclear reactor melting down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I remember thinking if I had to be in such a situation, better to be in Japan where people were all trying to help one another, and there was no looting.

Amen to that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I just got out of the elevator from my office in Kameido to go to a meating in Shinjuku, everything started to shake some tiles falled down. One old lady couldn't get up and she was in the middle of the street, so I helped her to get to the plaza in front of the station. Every sinlge building was waving and everything stoped.

I return to the office and everyone evacuated, so went to the designated meeting area where I met with everyone.

After waiting a while, the CEO gave the instruction that everyone go to their home (those who cannot, they could chose to stay at the office or go to a hotel).

Back then I was living in the next station of Kameido, I went back walking. Few cars and taxies on the streets.

Got to home and every single piece plate and glass were shattered, there was no gas (at that moment I didn't know how to reset the gas supply), so that night I decided to go to the izakaya I usually went... they were open and many patrons that I usually met were there so I spent a couple of hours drinking there. I lern then how to resent the gas supply.

By 20 hours, a lot of people were walking the Kuramaebashi doori, some for already a few hours and they had yet 10 km more to walk towards Funabashi.

So the izakaya owner decided to welcome some people, to give them something to drink and eat and rest.

All the patrons, including myself, help a little, like bringing a fresh tower, a glass of water and so on.

Although the earthquake and the aftermath was terrible, I have good memories of that night.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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