Arahama is an area along the coast of Miyagi Prefecture located close to Yuriage. Although Arahama is much smaller and had a much smaller population, the tsunami's destruction was indiscriminate. The only major building left standing in the area is the elementary school. Although it will likely never again function as a school, it is kept as a reminder of that day, but also has the practical purpose of being an area for others to escape to just in case another tsunami were to ever come.
There is a small roadside area with a collection of pictures of the town before and during the tsunami. Across the street a towering image of Kannon creates a focal point for those to pray and remember. You can also take a walk to the ocean and wonder just how something so cruel can come from such a peaceful blue.
Learn more about the affected areas outside Sendai here.
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Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai. Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.