I got to Morioka first, and I was actually surprised by the fact that everything seemed pretty normal. Most buildings damaged by the earthquake were already repaired, except the one across my grandparents' home. My grandparents are 88 and 86, and they also looked perfectly healthy, still riding bicycle and taking care of themselves.
On the next day, I made a day trip to Miyako. I was trying to take a train to get there from Morioka but took a 2-hour bus for schedule reason. I think it was the longest bus ride on a fixed-route local bus. Anyhow, when I got to the city, I was glad to see the city center looking perfectly normal. I almost thought it was one of those media's exaggerations to draw more viewers and readers.
But I was of course wrong. I took another bus, short one this time, to see the coastal area and visit a sightseeing spot by the area. The scene was quite horrifying, even after seeing pictures and videos of these areas. The residential area was completely wiped, and there weren't any construction workers in the area to rebuilt this area. And then, I recalled that the government is restricting the redevelopment of this area because some argue that they should rather relocate the whole community to higher ground. What do you think? I would actually disagree; it was one-in-one-thousand-year disaster. These residents are mostly fisher men (some women too) and they can't live that far away from their livelihood. The better solution in my view is to have mandatory evacuation drill frequently and make people used to such situation.
After going through such thought, I took a tiny boat to see the area from the sea. The picture shown above is the ticket for it; it is not just a ticket but the one who survived the tsunami. The whole administration building was swallowed by the tsunami, but the tickets somehow remained usable. All the boats at the dock were taken by the tsunami, but the owner/navigator said these tickets gave him determination to rebuild his business. I talked to the owner/navigator a lot, and it was actually scary to see him talking as if the town is really fine now. Maybe, that's the only way to keep going every day.
Through this trip, I realized that TVs and the Internet can tell so little things. It was great to talk to the owner/navigator of the little boating business and see his determination to rebuild everything from his town to little business. I would urge you to visit the town if you have a chance.