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

First flight

Last year, my husband and I relocated to Fukuoka Prefecture due to his job. I became pregnant after moving and gave birth this May. Meanwhile, my premarital hometown, Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, has seen a decrease in ob-gyns due to the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. For this reason, I was not able to return to my premarital hometown to give birth and instead stayed in Fukuoka.
This September, when my son was four months old and could hold his head up steadily, I used award tickets to visit my hometown. As this was my son's first flight, we were all nervous. Although my son cried a little during the flight, he was happy and smiling and did not cry at all during takeoff and landing. When I mentioned to the flight attendant that this was his first flight, we were presented with a lovely message card, making this a wonderful memory.
I stayed at my parent's house for close to two weeks and was able to show my son to my parents, grandmother, and friends, making this a very memorable trip.
* The photo shows my 96-year-old grandmother and my son. They were both born in the Year of Snake, exactly 96 years apart!

From Yuya Mama
(Fukuoka Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)

A trip of thanks

Thank you to the Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project for the mileage gift.
It has been two and a half years since the earthquake and tsunami devastated the Tohoku region. During this time, the reconstruction and recovery effort has been underway in the affected areas. Meanwhile, I live in Fukushima Prefecture and feel that there is still a long road ahead until our area can return to normal. This recovery process for Fukushima also refers to emotional recovery. As a parent with a small child, I am disturbed by the news that I see on the TV and read in the newspaper. Even so, Fukushima residents are all working hard to find a way forward.
Thanks to the gift miles that were donated to this project, we were able to take a trip to Hokkaido this summer. My mother, who reached mandatory retirement age this spring, has been saying that she wanted to go to Hokkaido, and I felt that this trip played a part in being a good daughter to her. During this trip, I was also able to take my rambunctious kindergartener son to Asahiyama Zoo. It was very refreshing for me to be able to watch my son excitedly view the animals in their unique exhibits.
The kindness and generosity that is being extended to the Tohoku region by JMB members and all of Japan is a great encouragement to all of us.
In the Tohoku region, we are approaching the peak time to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors. I hope that everyone who has an opportunity to visit Tohoku takes the time to come here and experience the Tohoku of today.

From Rupo
(Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)

Four days and three nights in Hokkaido

Whenever my children and I see an airplane in the sky, we would talk about how we wanted to take a trip and fly on one. We applied for the chance to receive gift miles after learning about this project. When we were notified that we would receive gift miles, we screamed with delight that we would be able to ride a plane.
When considering where we could go that the children would enjoy, I immediately thought of Asahiyama Zoo. We decided that the main part of our trip would be Asahiyama Zoo, but that we would also rent a car to visit Furano and Otaru and enjoy the delicious food in Hokkaido. Planning our trip was also fun and helped us forget about the earthquake and tsunami.
My children's first airplane ride was a thrilling and exciting experience, and they looked nervous but not nervous enough to keep them from enjoying the view from the window during our flight. We also took pictures as a souvenir after reaching New Chitose Airport.
In Furano, we enjoyed Mongolian mutton barbecue served at a Michelin rated restaurant, fresh seasonal melon, and fields of lavender and other colorful flowers. Furano satisfied both our stomachs and our hearts.
It was rainy on the morning of the day that we visited Asahiyama Zoo, but the weather gradually cleared up and we were able to leisurely enjoy the facilities. We were riveted by the seal exhibit that let us watch the seal swim up and down the glass tunnel. It was amazing that all of the exhibits were designed to allow the visitors to enjoy watching the animals. My youngest child, who seems to really like hippopotamuses, was looking forward to seeing the hippopotamus exhibit and could not get enough of Momokichi, the hippopotamus there. Even now, my youngest child wants to go see the hippopotamuses again.
In Otaru, we rode a rickshaw for the first time, learned about Otaru history, and enjoyed the conversation that we had with the rickshaw driver.
In Sapporo, the woman at our hotel's front desk recommended a Japanese style pub that offers unbelievably delicious food at reasonable prices. It was so good that we went there twice in two days.
As we are currently living and sleeping in a cramped temporary housing unit, the children also looked forward to the nights and excitedly played on the bed during our trip. I would like to thank all of the JAL Mileage Bank members and JAL staff members who made this wonderful trip possible.

From Mimi
(Yamamoto Town, Miyagi Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)

Amazing family trip

First of all, thank you very much for the valuable miles that were given to us. I learned that I was pregnant around one month after the 3.11 disaster and was in and out of the hospital until giving birth, but safely brought my daughter into the world on January 7, 2012.
Pregnancy in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami disaster meant that we faced many worries such as lack of food and radiation concerns. It was truly a relief that I was able to safely give birth to my daughter.
Although my husband and I enjoy traveling overseas, after the earthquake and tsunami disaster we were unable to even travel in Japan due to concerns over aftershocks and my pregnancy. In addition, our family also faced a tough financial situation after the 3.11 disaster, and so we had just about given up on traveling overseas. It was at that time that we found out that we would receive gift miles under this project. We were all thrilled. It was like a dream because we did not think that we would actually receive gift miles.
After discussing where we would go, we decided to visit Los Angeles and Las Vegas in America, which was the location of our honeymoon. The three us of went at the end of September and stayed there for six days and four nights. We rented a car and made the long drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, took a nighttime stroll through Las Vegas (the city that never sleeps!), enjoyed the fantastic Los Angeles beaches, and more. It was a truly memorable trip.
My daughter, who was one year and eight months old at the time, also enjoyed the zoo and aquarium.
We had a wonderful trip thanks to the mileage gift that was presented to us at the right time.
Thank you to all of the JAL staff and JMB members for the wonderful gift!!

From Marco of the World
(Miyagi Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)

Trip to the Great North of Japan

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of the JAL Mileage Bank members who donated miles to the Let's Encourage Tohoku with Mile Donation Project and the JAL Group staff who are running this project.
My wife and I run a family business in a seaport town called Shiogama City in Miyagi Prefecture. As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the building that houses our business was damaged by the more than 3-meter tsunami waves. We fortunately suffered no loss of life, but our business suffered enormous damage and is still in the process of recovery two and a half years later.
Our son learned about this project and applied on our behalf as Tohoku residents who suffered damage. Because we run a family-operated business, we hardly ever were able to take trips before the earthquake and tsunami. When we did occasionally go somewhere, we would return on the same day. After the earthquake and tsunami, we were unable to even go on day trips.
It was when we were struggling with our recovery efforts that we received a letter informing us that we would receive gift miles as part of this project. There are no words that can fully express the gratitude felt by me and my wife.
In order to try to forget some of the despair brought on by the earthquake and tsunami, we decided to visit Hokkaido, the Great North of Japan. The opportunity to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty and delicious food in Hokkaido provided some relief to our feelings of pain and hardship. We enjoy watching baseball but have not gone to watch games after the earthquake and tsunami. During our trip, however, we finally went to watch a game as the Rakuten Golden Eagles were scheduled to play at Sapporo Dome. Watching the players' drive and commitment also raised our enthusiasm in cheering for them and helped us forget about the earthquake and disaster during the game.
Because of this project, we were able to enjoy an experience that was like a dream for us. Once again, thank you to everyone who was a part of this project. This experience will provide us with encouragement as we continue to work towards recovery.

From Jejeje grandpa
(Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture / Age:60s / Gender:Male)

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