Monday, March 14, 2011


As the day started to wear on, the sky darkened and the clouds began to blow into the sky that were full of rain clouds.  As the weather started to get colder, the quakes started to become slower so more and more people left the open area in the center to sit on the benches along the outside of the park. 
This crowded area got even more crowded as this was taken only about 30 minutes into our stay at the park.  When the rain finally started to fall, everyone rushed to cover under the trees or the eating area with the benches.  There was a tarp that was supposed to be extend-able, but they seemed to have some difficulty with it.   When finally they got it out, it seemed that the rain decided to not fall anymore.  At about that time, the park staff decided that it was safe enough to allow people inside the restaurant to warm up.  For the next hour my father wandered about and made a friend.  According the ojiisan (grandfather, or old man) we may be kept in the park overnight.  As it was, the crowd was starting to thin, and on one of the trips my father took around the park, he discovered that people were, in fact, leaving.  We decided to head towards our hotel, because at the very least, they could tell us not to stay, or to return to the park.

At the hotel they told us it was ok to check in, but the elevator was not working.  But they were kind enough to allow us to continue to store our luggage in their storage area.  When we climbed up all five stories of narrow stairs with bottles and objects that had fallen over we arrived at our room.  Outside were two German girls that my parents talked to for a while.  They were from Germany and were waiting till later to catch an overnight bus to Kyoto.  As we went into the room, I was the only one who opted to bring my suitcase.  At this point, I had posted a facebook status "EARTHQUAKE!" and wanted to see what people had said.  Dad pulled out his netbook and we both logged onto the internet.  Mom continued to talk to the two German girls.  Dad got onto the internet first and looked up the Earthquake.  For the first time, we learned the magnitude of the Earthquake.  At that time, the preliminary report was 8.6 at the epicentre.  When I told Mom and the girls outside, we invited them in to our much warmer room.  They showed us the BBC channel on the TV.  We were happy to have English news, even if they dubbed over it all with Japanese.  But at least all the charts and the newsflashes were in English.

So for the first time, almost 3 hours after it happened we learned of the devastation.  We proceeded to spend the rest of the night watching the news and conversing with the girls.  Caroline and Sarah had been in Tokyo a few days and we planning on leaving that night.  They had already vacated their room and agreed to help us find a convenience store for supper.  More on the adventure of finding food in Japan later.

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