"Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project" Travel Memories Backnumber

Trip to a place full of memories

I would like to express my gratitude for the mileage gift that was made possible by the donations from so many JMB members.
I lost my husband in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, leaving me to raise our two children alone as a family of three.

With the miles we received, the three of us, in addition to my mother and younger sister, took a trip to Okinawa. Our group of five departed from Sendai and took a connecting flight from Fukuoka to arrive at our destination. Before the 2011 earthquake, my husband would mention that he wanted to take our children to Okinawa, the place where we held our wedding ceremony. In taking this trip, I was finally able to fulfill his wish.

We spent our first day at the Kanucha Bay Hotel. The children were very excited to be at a luxury resort hotel. It was an emotional moment to be able to visit the wedding chapel where my husband and I were married, bringing back memories of that wonderful day.
On our second day, we followed the same route that my husband and I first took together, touring various attractions such as the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and the Kourijima Bridge. I experienced some very mixed feelings on this second day - the sense of nostalgia from recalling the happy memories, mixed with the painful sadness from wishing that he could be here today.

But the spectacular views of the ocean, the delicious Okinawan food, and the wonderful time spent during our trip all helped me renew my resolve to do my best for the three of us. My husband would not want to see us grieving so badly. We will be moving steadily forward, taking life one step at a time.

Thank you very much for your support provided through charity miles.

From Genero
(Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)

Our first family trip to Okinawa

I was thrilled when we were informed that we would be receiving miles from the Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project. After the 2011 earthquake-tsunami, my family has been facing many changes, simply grateful to be alive. It was during this turbulent time that we received this wonderful gift. I was filled with the joy of knowing that the higher powers were still looking out for us.

Upon learning the good news, my family would talk about where we wanted to go. At the time, we were living in Ishinomaki City in the cold and snowy Tohoku region. For this reason, we wanted to visit a warm location and eventually decided on a trip to Okinawa. The three of us went on our trip for one week, from December 28 to January 3, based on a travel plan that allowed us to decide on our own itinerary.
Rather than staying at luxury hotels, we stayed at minshuku (private homes that provide food and lodging) and guest houses. We were able to interact with other guests and rented a car for transportation, allowing us to experience a high degree of freedom during our stay.
In seeing the sights, we visited the Tower of Himeyuri and the Tower of Peace, where my children and I were able to review the history of Japan.
We also took a ferry to Kume Island, where we were awed by the spectacular views of the ocean, all while talking about how a week was not enough time to experience everything. During our trip, I was also grateful for the opportunities to talk with my children about how they really feel.

Without this JMB project, we would not have been able to take a trip to Okinawa. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone at JAL who made this opportunity possible and to all the JMB members who donated their miles. Thank you.

From Momonga
(Otawara City, Tochigi Prefecture / Age:40s / Gender:Female)

Your support allowed us to visit New York

Thank you to everyone at JAL Mileage Bank and all of the JMB members. Thanks to your kindness, we were offered a valuable experience. With the miles we received, my family took a trip to New York over the year-end and New Year holiday.

We were forced to move after our home suffered damage from the 2011 tsunami. On top of that, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake-tsunami, I was rarely able to return home due to job-related responsibilities. For this reason, I feel that my family suffered considerably during the time until the life line infrastructure and utilities were restored. In order to make up for that challenging time, I planned this trip in the desire to do something that my family would enjoy.

New York was incredibly cold, but the fun time that we spent together far outweighed the cold. We experienced the New Year countdown, went shopping, visited the sights, and much more. Seeing all of the different people from different races and ethnicities living together from different regions around the world made me want to expand my own perspective. But most of all, watching my family's delight when shopping made me want to take better care of them. Personally, I also very much enjoyed eating a real steak in the country that is famous for it, despite the enormous portion sizes.

Our trip lasted five days, but it was not nearly enough time. On our flight home, we swore to ourselves that next time, we would be visiting this location on our own.

Once again, thank you.

From NY
(Chuo-ku, Tokyo (resident of Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture at the time of the 2011 earthquake-tsunami) / Age:30s / Gender: Male)

Welcome to the Tohoku region

My house and workplace were swept away by the 2011 tsunami. Subsequently, my family was living in a one-room apartment when we learned about this mileage donation project from information in the newspaper. At the time, we were simply trying to survive each day. I applied for the chance to receive miles based on the desire to get away from the disaster-hit region and visit somewhere warm. When we were informed that we would be receiving miles, my family all shared the joy of this good news and would think about where we would go. At the same time, however, some part of me also wondered whether we should be the only ones to enjoy this good fortune.

We did not survive that terrible time after the earthquake-tsunami simply through the efforts of our family alone. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, a friend came to check up on us, carrying a huge backpack and transferring from one long-distance bus to another from Tokyo. Afterwards, a package would arrive for us practically every week at our temporary shelter, delivered by courier service and containing letters, clothing, food, and daily supplies. Personally, I had never devoted myself to another person to such an extent. Although I would feel humble for such generosity and would say that we would not be able to return such a large favor, I wanted to find a way to do something in return, someday.

It was then that I came to a sudden realization. I would not make a trip away from the Tohoku region. Instead, I would have everyone come here.

I discussed my idea with my family, who willingly consented to my proposal. Putting my plan into action, I booked a stay at an onsen hotel in Matsushima that I found on the JAL website and asked my friends to stay with me. We toured the disaster-hit area by car, enjoyed the local fish at our lodgings, soaked in the onsen hot spring waters, and talked late into the night. During our trip, I learned for the first time that in the week after the earthquake-tsunami, when no contact could be made, my friends would be in tears as they searched for my name in the obituaries and lists of the deceased that were printed in the newspapers.
In touring the disaster-hit area, we were able to witness the large fishing vessels that had been swept ashore, the remains of buildings with only the charred frameworks left intact, the school buildings with broken windows left unrepaired, and the areas of reclaimed land that were slowly returning to the sea due to the water that was failing to recede. My love of travel exceeds that of the average person, but I have not stepped one foot out of the Tohoku region since the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster. Even so, I hope to communicate to other people all of the things I have seen and experienced.

Thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible.

From Fukahire
(Miyagi Prefecture / Age:50s / Gender:Female)

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