My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Saturday’s scene: Remembering Sendai

2011/03/12by Donna Hull

Toshogu-shrine-sendai-japan

While on a Regent Seven Sea cruise from Vancouver to Singapore, our ship, Mariner, stopped in several Japanese ports. On each occasion, official delegations swapped plaques and speeches with Captain Felice Patruno, while welcoming cruise passengers with dance performances on the docks, fireboats saluting the ship with sprays of water as she entered harbors, even a performance of Madame Butterfly in Nagasaki.

Sendai, the second Japanese port, was our introduction to the shrines and temples of Japan. Alan and I joined The Many Sights of Sendai excursion for a 4.5 hour exploration in the area. At the first stop, Zuganji Temple, I experienced a Shinto purification ceremony. Later we walked the cedar-lined lane to Shiogama Shrine.

Today, our hearts go out to the residents of Sendai and Japan as they recover from this week’s devastating earthquake. This article from USA Today explains how you can help the victims.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

BeersAndBeans March 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

It looks beautiful! I love the ornate wood work of Japan’s temples. Thanks for sharing the photo and information about how to help. -Randy

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Thanks, Randy. We found all of Japan to be a fascinating destination.
One thing that really stood out is how important cleanliness and
neatness is to the Japanese culture. Having parts of their country be
such a mess must be very hard for them.

Reply

Dorothy March 13, 2011 at 12:53 am

It is awful, absolutely awful. Just talked to my cousin on Facebook…he’s stationed there and said that he’s okay. He’s 25 miles inland and at that point everyone was okay. He said water went inland 6 miles…absolutely awful.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

Dorothy, the devastation is beyond my comprehension. I’m glad your
cousin is okay. One of the problems will be how to drain the areas of
the water that came in from the tsunami before it causes a health
problem.

Reply

Mark H March 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I cannot believe the images of the devastation of Japan and find it difficult to comprehend how all these people will get their lives back together. It will be difficult to fight the string of issues that will occur over the coming weeks – the nuclear plants safety, disease form the dirty waters, providing clean drinking water and food in an area where there is little access. Let’s all hope for the very best outcome in this devasted area of Japan.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

You are right, Mark. It will be hard for the Japanese to overcome
this. But just from my one visit to the country, I came away with the
impression that the Japanese are very resilient. Let’s hope so.

Reply

Debbie Beardsley
Twitter:
March 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

The images coming from Japan are heart breaking! I can’t even begin to imagine how you dig deep to overcome this type of devastation.

Thanks for sharing your time in Sendai.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Thanks, Debbie. I agree the devastation is beyond my mind’s ability to
process it all.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Beth, we were so intrigued by Japan. Some day we hope to return for a
land exploration rather than seeing the country via cruise ports.
First, there’s so much to be done with the cleanup and nuclear
situation. It’s more than I can comprehend.

Reply

Bjorn Karlman March 16, 2011 at 1:57 am

I am new to your blog and I wanted to congratulate you on your ability to sensitively share the news of your exciting and visually stunning trip with the very sad news of the devastation in Japan. It is hard to live with that kind of a tension but that is reality. I really appreciated the link the the USA Today article with links to some of the key disaster relief organizations. I hope the global outpouring of support will allow us to speed recovery efforts.

On a different topic, has the devastation meant any changes to your travel itinerary?

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 16, 2011 at 2:23 am

Hello, Bjorn. Thanks for your kind words. I cannot imagine what it
must be like for the Japanese at this moment. I agree with you about a
global outpouring that will help in the recovery. March 21 – 23, I’ll
be participating in a blogger’s outreach for the earthquake in
Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m assuming the same type of event will be
planned for the Japanese earthquake victims. Of course I’ll
participate in that one, too.

As far as our travel plans, we had no travel planned for Asia this
year so I don’t see us changing anything. We will continue our travels
(we’re exploring Montana this summer plus a trip to the Vancouver
area) as long as fuel remains affordable. I hope you’ll continue to
visit My Itchy Travel Feet.

Reply

Doug March 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Wow … thanks for sharing, Donna. The devastation is hard to comprehend. While praying for the Japanese people, it’s caused me to think about 2 things. 1) How my attitude should reflect way more gratitude than it normally does. And 2) How truly “temporary” the material aspects of life can be.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 12:27 am

Good points, Doug. I also think about how prepared I would be if a
natural disaster happened in my area of the U.S.

Reply

Deb Mariano April 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I was here in October 2010 and it was one of the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, my heart goes out to all the people of Japan who were the lovliest people I’ve ever met.

Reply

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