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Saturday will be 12 years since the March 11, 2011 disaster. If you were in Japan, what are your memories of that day?


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I remember our young receptionist in Tokyo crying because she couldn’t contact the nursery where her little boy was. (He was safe.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Horrorified has unfolded on TV and social media. Watching the tsunami sweep away homes and people and being unable to do anything to stop it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

abject horror watching the tsunami and terror after hearing about Fukushima.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I live in Iwate, luckily well inland, so our family didn't have to worry about the tsunami affecting us personally, but it was a frightening experience. Never want to have to go through that again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One of the strongest memories I have is of seeing the big heavy utility trucks parked in the station bouncing up and down off the ground as if they were mere toy trucks. It was at that moment I realized that we were having a huge earthquake. Pretty surreal. It was so shocking to see that I didn't think to take a video; just watched in stunned silence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I had been in Japan for 19 years almost to the day and lived in Ibaraki ken. The continuous aftershocks of 7+ were pretty frightening because we just didn’t know how big each was going to be as they started.

Our city had a lot of radiation being downwind the days after and stayed inside. Everyone one kilometer north was without water, but we were lucky.

When I saw helicopters dropping water on the Fukushima plant on TV, I knew it was time to make a plan to leave Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Work. Back home, no electricity. No TV. No signal. Nothing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i was in car driving on highway from KIX to Osaka.

honestly speaking it was not my first time earthquake experience here but bridge have moved a lot so all cars have stopped for a while,than long lines to Osaka.

normally it took less than 45mins that day I have spent some 3hrs behind the wheel.

than saw horrible news at evening at home.

sure unforgettable experience.

next month my volunteer group have collected goods like blankets water,kerosene heaters and we drove 3ton truck all the way to affected area than unloaded all staff to JSDF truck as access to damaged area was not allowed.so could help a little as well.

last summer we went back to see same place again,get changed a lot as many houses and rubbish was removed but well...wondering who wants to return and live there again.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Taking seven and half hours to drive from Omitama to Hitachi.

Sitting in the garden next day blissfully unaware.

No power, water or gas for nearly ten days. When the telephones came back on, the first call I received was from my company, wanting me to return to work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Absolute shock and horror at the NHK images.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unlike thousands of other foreigners, we did not leave the country.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I was in my hotel room on the 34th floor Sepia tower. I was laying down checking out the skyline. I noticed the building on the east side of Tokyo station swaying easily a meter plus. I thought gee it’s breezey outside, a few seconds later it click that we having earthquake. I got up and head for the coats enclave in the hallway closing the bathroom door as I pass and braced myself wedging into this enclave as instructed in the manual I just happened to read the night before. The swaying quickly into motorists bucking bull accompanied with the hideous screaming from the structural steel network for the next 4 minutes It started ti slow to swaying then stop after 5 minutes. It had injured my shoulder I will later notice but after 15 second of stillness went for my passport and phone and wallet and end down the 24th floor where’s the foyer was. I exited my room door and the emergency lighting on the floor was directing to where to head. It took me the firestairs where I decent to the foyer. Once there the staff assured the crowding foyer that we will decenting the fire stairs to the ground after the aftershocks and add to brace for this time it came as with tremendous quick shaking 4 about 2-3 minutes when it stop the staff opened the the fire stairs and down we head. The fire stairs came out opposite the door into Tokyo station Nihonbashi North entrance. I head into there peoples where lining up at the pay phone because the mobile network was out. The next two days spent getting out of Tokyo which was quick considering what was going down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At home, cleaning up after a late lunch. A little rumble, then a BIG jolt that sent dishes flying out of the open cupboard door and me diving under the dining room table, holding onto the legs to stop it jumping about. Emerged to find the kitchen floor a mess of smashed crockery and glass, the living room awash with water from our 90cm fish tank, which was half-empty. The piano, which had been against the wall, was a couple of feet out from the wall.

The electricity wasn't out, so I immediately switched on the TV to see what was happening. Horrendous images right from the start, and they only got worse. The phone and Internet were out, so no way to check on the safety of the rest of the family.

The aftershock that came a little later sounded at first like a train zooming through the garden, then more shaking, not as bad as the first time but still stronger than I'd ever felt before that day.

Once I'd picked up all the broken glass and mopped the floor, I went out to find a public phone, found out from my husband that he'd managed to contact our son and daughter and his mother, all were safe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wallaceToday  01:30 pm JST

Unlike thousands of other foreigners, we did not leave the country.

I took a shinkansen out a few days later and it was packed with Japanese--mothers with children, and even children alone, all headed out West.

The Japanese evacuated the Tokyo area in huge numbers.

3 ( +5 / -2 )


you have no idea how many evacuated from Tokyo. Thousands f foreigners fled back to their countries.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Watching NHK news on the internet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Why did those foreigners who decided to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster come in for so much derision from some people who labeled them with words like 'flyjin?'


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Readers, please stay on topic. The question is about your memories of that day.

The memory of all the before shocks that happened in the Nagoya and Gifu area that occured before the March 11th earthquake.

When the earthquake did occur the movement was unlike any other earthquake I have experienced before it. Feeling that long slow movement that lasted over a minute. Even though it was no more than a 3 in Aichi it really showed the difference in what an everyday earthquake feels like and a very large one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I remember JT was a hive of activity with people looking for info.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was in Thailand and before flying out of Phuket on the way back to Japan there was a desk in the airport for anyone going to Japan to pick up free iodine tablets. I have no idea who was giving them away. It was kinda worrying. Especially as the news from Japan was that all was fine; there was no meltdown.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember how kind everyone in Tokyo was that day. I lost count of the number of times a stranger asked me if my family/friends were OK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was the day when I was a first year in high school. I thought the first shock was the beginning of the end of my life. Buildings, one of which I was in, sway back and forth, the classrooms were filled with screams and rattling sounds. It was the most furious thing that I have ever experienced.

After the shock, I wanted to go back home since I was not able to get contacts with my family member. Fortunately, my friend's relative took me to the town where I lived. During the ride to my home, I noticed that the power outage had occurred due to the quakes. No traffic lights and those at the sidewalks were not working, so it looked as if I were in a dead city.

Lots of people and I got trouble with many things later, but the moment of the big quakes and sceneries of darkness was really shock to me, which will never wash out from my memory.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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