I spent two days in Sendai, the largest city in the northern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. I was attending a school meeting so really didn’t get a chance to explore much of the city. The region is known as Tohoku and is famous for the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. As you can see in the photo above, the city airport, located near the coast, had a 3-meter wall of water sweep through it. The central part of the city is much further inland and at a higher elevation, so people were safe there and the tsunami only reached about 5 kilometers inland from the airport.
After living in Osaka, Sendai, despite being a city of a million people, felt small. It had a nice vibe to it with a compact downtown. We went to dinner at a trendy restaurant in the city center. The hotel was connected to a golf club (Joytel Hotel) and right next to it was this massive statue of a Buddhist goddess. It was the biggest statue I have ever seen, dwarfing the Cristo statues in Bolivia that are similar to the more famous Jesus statue in Rio de janeiro. It depicts the Buddhist goddess Guanyin, who is known for her compassion and mercy. When it was completed in 1991, it was the largest statue in the world, but today it ranks #6.
There is a small international school near the hotel and it had some nice forested hills surrounding it. The hiking and beaches must be really nice, so for an outdoors person, it would be a nice place to live.
I watched videos of the tsunami here in Sendai and in Tohoku and am still awed by the power of the earth. What a tragedy and incredible natural phenomenon. My heart goes out to the people who died or lost loved ones.
There is a lot to see in Japan so I am not sure if I will ever be back here, but it is a very pleasant place.