Sendai (仙台) is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It is the largest in the Tohoku region and the second largest north of Tokyo. As described by The Japan Times, Sendai is also synonymous with resilience to disasters for its remarkable recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that hit this city on March 11, 2011. With the magnitude 9.0 offshore earthquake, coastal areas of the Sendai city were severely damaged, including the Sendai Airport Terminal building.
If you travel to Sendai, there is a monument that was built to commemorate the Great East Earthquake of March 2011. People call this monument ‘Memorial Monument of the Great East Earthquake’. This place is specifically located in Yuriage, Natori City which is one of the areas that got hit by tsunami the strongest.
Yuriage was previously well known as one of the fishing ports of Sendai. There were almost 7,000 people residing here before the tsunami in 2011. However, after the tragedy there are almost no wooden houses left in this area. More than 500 casualties and almost 40 people were recorded missing in this area. Apart from that, 14 students of the local Yuriage Junior High School did not make it that day after the 8.4 meters height tsunami arrived within 45 minutes after the earthquake.
‘Memorial Monument of the Great East Earthquake’ was built as the representation of the ascension for the victims of the tsunami. The black monument, ‘Tane-no-Ireihi’ is the seed that symbolizes citizens’ will to overcome the disaster and look ahead for the recovery. While the white monument, ‘Mebae-no-Tou’, illustrates the sprout growing from the seed. The height of the white monument is 8.4 meters, which is the exact height of the 2011 tsunami wave that struck Yuriage area.
Nearby the memorial monument, there was a small hill called Hiyoriyama. That 6-meter artificial mountain was built in 1829 for overlooking the ocean. During the tsunami, almost 200 people climbed this hill to survive. But, with the wave being that unimaginably tall, no one on that hill made it.
Currently, there are no bus services provided directly to this place. From Natori Station, you can get there by taxi. If you plan to go there by car, don’t worry about parking because there are a lot of parking spaces provided for free at the nearby Hiyoriyama. If you are planning to visit Sendai, Memorial Monument of the Great East Earthquake can be one of the must-see places to add on your list. The address of this area is Mt. Hiyoriyama, 4-18, Yuriage, Natori, Miyagi. You also can contact Natori Kanko Bussan Association (NKBA) to get further detail information about other interesting places have to visit at Natori.
Address (English): 243 Yanagida, Masuda, Natori, Miyagi.
Address (Japanese): 宮城県名取市増田字柳田 243