Ring of Fire

10th Floor, Toyoko Inn, Fukushima City

There are lots of fun reasons for a bed to be rattling in the middle of the night. But an earthquake isn’t one of them. The first quake hits at 3:20am. It’s a 5.7 magnitude off the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture, and feels like a ride on a coin-operated horse at the grocery store. Within ten seconds it’s over.

The second quake two hours later is slightly weaker – 5.6 magnitude – but closer. About twenty miles away right off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. Fear strikes in a waiting-for-the-ceiling-to-crash-down kind of way. I stand paralyzed in the middle of my tiny hotel room with one overarching thought, “I do not want to die in the Japanese equivalent of a Holiday Inn.”

Our earthquakes are the orange and yellow ones.

Beth Balaban and I have been here three times in two years for filming Son of Saichi, and every time, there’s been a quake. Is this really what daily life here is like? Here’s the tally from our little corner of this Pacific Ring of Fire:
2 earthquakes today
3 earthquakes in the past 7 days
5 earthquakes in the past month
118 earthquakes in the past year

Scientists say the abundant seismic activity here could give Japan all the clean energy it needs – as much as twenty nuclear reactors. I think it might be time to enjoy the seismically charged hot springs to evaluate further…

For more on our filming adventures for SON OF SAICHI, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>