Archive for March, 2011

The Quake that changed Japan forever

March 25, 2011

Hello hockey fans and everyone.This is usually a blog about hockey but 2 weeks ago almost to the minute the biggest quake to ever hit Japan shook the country to its core and devastated the northeastern coast because of a huge tsunami that slammed into the coast after the quake.I recommend everyone to donate to the Japanese Red Cross or other organizations that are helping the victims of the quake.My story started just after I stepped out of an office building in Kameido in the eastern area of Tokyo. I turned the corner and was walking towards the station when I saw an older woman kneeling on the ground and felt it was a little strange,but then I realized it was an earthquake and I watched as a 15 storey building was swaying side to side and people were standing around in  a stunned silence.The quake lasted for 2 or 3 minutes but I am not sure of the exact length of the quake. After it was finished I thought I should walk to my wife’s office to see if she was alright.All cell phone communications went down after the quake and email was sporadic. I took some pics along the way and there were many people just walking and standing around and trying to stay safe and some people had put on hardhats from the ofiices.Here is the first picture of an building.

Tiles in an office building

The next picture is some rubble beside an office building close to Miho’s office.

rubble beside an office building

So I continued to walk and it took me about 90 minutes to get to Miho’s office and she was fine but she did have a hardhat and she had to evacuate her building for about an hour after the big quake. I told her I had to go to my own office to deliver some student evaluations and then I would come back and we could go home together.Here is a pic of a toppled bookcase in my office.

toppled bookcase in my office.

I got to my office and one staff member was still there but all the other people had went home and all classes were cancelled for Friday night.I bought some bottled water and some snacks which I ate in my office to try to calm myself down through the frequent aftershocks.I had to walk up 9 floors to get to my office and down the stairs again when I left. I then proceeded to walk back to my wife’s office after cracking open a beer and gulping it as I walked back to see Miho.I arrived and she was waiting for me in a park close to her office.She said we could stay at her office for the night,it was about 6 pm at this time.I said let’s walk home so I looked at the GPS on my iPhone and we were off. It looked to be about 25 kilometres. I was wearing deck shoes and Miho was wearing some boots more to come on this footwear later in the story.We set off and got close to Tokyo station which was really crowded with people as all the train had stopped after the quake. We got around Tokyo station then we headed towards the Imperial Palace and it was wall to wall people walking west to get home,I put on Miho’s white hardhat for protection and wore it all the way home.We managed to get on a major road route 20 going towards Shinjuku,I had one minor incident witha truck driver who was blocking crosswalk and I hit his mirror and knocked it to the ground but it didnt break and Miho apologized to him,but he said “Wait a minute “,but we just walked away.Miho did hand the mirror back to the truck driver.After that we just kept walking home we walked on the road sometimes and on the sidewalk sometimes as a mass exodus of humanity were trying to get home.We arrived in Shinjuku at about 8 pm and it took us about 30 minutes to continue heading west as there were so many people leaving from the mega train station.We walked along and found a discount store with some sneakers and Miho bought a pair for 20 bucks,but unfortunately I couldn’t find a pair that would fit me and by this time my feet were really starting to hurt.It took 3 days for my left foot to get back to normal and about 10 days for my right foot to get back to normal.Previous to buying the sneakers we went into to a restaurant to eat dinner but the wait was too long so we decided to keep going.We then turned onto  Itsukaichi Street going to Kichijoji and we saw some buses going to Ogikubo station,it was about 10 oclock by this time so we popped into a local restaurant for dinner and met some other people that was also walking home to places further west than we were going.We watched the tsunami and earthquake updates on the TV and we were horrified by the pictures.Then we started walking again and finally got on a bus for Ogikubo station which was a lifesaver for my aching feet. Then we had to walk 2 more stations to get to Kichijoji and hopefully catch a taxi to our home station of Musashi Sakai. We arrived at Kichijoji and found a taxi that took us took our station and we hopped on our bikes and got home by 130 am.One last thing about this story I had went to the gym on this morning and worked out for about an hour so I calculated my workout to be about 9 and a half hours including all the walking.

Hockey update the Bruins massacred the Hab scum today 7-0 to take a commanding 5 point lead over the Canadiens in the Northeast Division.There is a possibility that they could meet in the first round of the playoffs.

Hockey Pool Jay the minister is in first place with 880 points John the loveable loser 2nd with 854,Scotty 824,newcomer Chris 817,me 780 and Brian the basement boy with 773 points.I will donate all the money from our pool to the Japanese Red Cross or Second Harvest for the earthquake victims in Northeastern Japan.

Lastly Yahoo fantasy update. Kevin from Toronto who left Japan last year and must be cheering hard for his Leafs to make the playoffs has 41 points in first and I am in second with 40 points but I am running out of player options with 2 weeks remaining in the season ,Dave from Calgary is in 3rd with 36.5 points ,Thomas in 4th with 27.5 points John the loveable loser from Vancouver in 5th with 23 points and Brian the Chiba Canucks  in last with 21 points.I hate to say it but I think Kevin will win. My only hope is if I take over the shorthanded points lead and pass him in the  game winning goals category as well.

Well that is all for now,hockey seems very insignificant compared to the earthquake. My heart goes out to all people affected by the quake and tsunami and to all people who lost loved ones in this terible disaster.