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[Kamaishi] Learn about disaster prevention while having fun in a town hit by the tsunami during the Great East Japan Earthquake! [Tohoku/Iwate]

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Kamaishi City, a city on the Sanriku coast of Tohoku, has been on the road to recovery since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Unosumai Tomos, located in the northern part of the city, is a complex facility in front of Unosumai Station on the Sanriku Railway Rias Line where you can learn about the me...

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1. What is “Unosumai Tomos”?

`` Unosumai Tomos '' is located in a position that can be seen from Unosumai Station on the Sanriku Railway Rias Line . The Rias Line doesn't run very often, so it's a good idea to check the timetable in advance. Access by car is approximately 15 minutes from Kamaishi city, and there is a large parking lot available for free. The current Unosumai Station was rebuilt during restoration work. The station building was washed away by the tsunami, and many people died in the Unosumai district, which was originally a residential area. On the other hand, the survival rate of children is extremely high at over 98%, and it is also a region where disaster prevention education has been highly praised.

2. Learn with a free guide: Memories of the earthquake and lessons for future generations

One of the facilities in the area, Miraikan, which connects lives, is a facility for earthquake disaster inheritance and disaster prevention learning. Admission is free, and if you make a reservation in advance, you can listen to commentary from an in-house guide as you tour the exhibits. The guide time is approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and there is no need to tip the guide. You will also be asked questions, so this program is highly recommended for those who want to understand the exhibits more deeply.

The building consists of 3 rooms. The first room shows the damage caused by the tsunami in Kamaishi and what happened in the seven days after the disaster.The second room shows the events at the Unosumai Disaster Prevention Center, where many people lost their lives.The survival rate is extremely high. You can learn about what the earthquake actually was like by walking around the third room, which exhibits the evacuation efforts of children in Kamaishi.

The museum also has a library space where you can view books, materials, and donated photos related to the Great East Japan Earthquake. This will provide an opportunity to think about disaster prevention based on the lessons learned from the earthquake.

3. Experience program where you walk through the area with a storyteller

We also recommend an experience program where you can leave Miraikan and actually walk around the Unosumai district.

Although Kamaishi suffered severe damage, all students at the city's elementary and junior high schools survived, and their disaster prevention education was highly praised. In the program, children will walk along the evacuation route that children in Kamaishi took back then, and tour the Kamaishi Unosumai Recovery Stadium, which was built on the site where the school building used to be, learning about events at Unosumai and learning about disaster prevention. All trial programs require advance application and are subject to a fee.

① Relive the evacuation route

Although many people were killed in the Unosumai area, most of the children in the area were able to return alive. While the results of their daily disaster prevention education were highly praised, they faced various difficulties during the actual evacuation. In this program, we will depart from Miraikan and, while listening to the guide's stories, we will actually walk the approximately 1.6 km evacuation route to higher ground from where Unosumai Elementary School and Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School were located at the time.

② Sluice gate embankment tour

The gigantic Unosumai River Floodgate, 14.5m high and 180m long, was built after the tsunami. Today, we are still responsible for local disaster prevention. In the tour program, you will learn about the role of flood gates and seawalls and the importance of disaster prevention awareness while listening to stories from local flood gate managers and guides about what happened in this area at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

③ Tour of Kamaishi Unosumai Recovery Stadium

The reconstruction stadium can be said to be a symbol of the recovery of Unosumai. The area where the stadium is located was once home to an elementary school and junior high school in this area, but it was submerged by the tsunami. Both schools have now moved to higher ground.

The stadium is surrounded by the ocean, mountains, and rivers, and has open stands made of local wood, making it a structure that allows you to feel nature with your whole body. It was also the stage for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which was held in the midst of reconstruction.

In this program, participants will visit the Reconstruction Stadium, listen to anecdotes related to the earthquake and construction, and tour the interior of the locker room and other areas (entering the ground is not permitted).

We have introduced some recommended disaster prevention programs held at "Unosumai Tomos"!

Other facilities at ``Unosumai Tomos'' include ``Unosato Exchange Center,'' where you can eat and purchase Kamaishi souvenirs, and ``Kamaishi Prayer Park,'' where you can memorialize and commemorate the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. . Why not spend half a day to a full day and think about disaster prevention?

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The entire city of Kamaishi is likened to a museum without a roof, and the history of modern iron manufacturing, which is a World Heritage Site, community development after the Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster prevention learning, which unravels the evacuation behavior of schoolchildren praised during the earthquake, fishery and forestry. , offers an experience of the primary industry of agriculture. Kamaishi DMC, a local DMO, uses these tourism resources to refine the exhibits at the museum and deliver them to everyone.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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