Ruth: Except for our brief excursions up to the mountain temples, we spend much of our time here in Japan within the tsunami inundation zones. At our guest house two nights ago our host explained in Japanese and charades what to do if the alarm sounds. We must leave from a certain door and basically boot up the hill. It was the only accommodation that also supplied hard hats for each of us. 

The villages are all situated dangerously low, usually tucked behind and dwarfed by a concrete wall. We were surprised to see how much of the ocean front is “hardscaped.” 
Concrete lines the coast in roads and walls. Perhaps even more surprising is when you do access a beach, there is no one on it. It feels like the Japanese largely live, when they are not fishing, with their backs to the sea. 

Tsunami towers like this one are in almost every town. 

We enjoyed a lovely rest at this funny rest stop for henros. 

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