It's surreal seeing Sendai in the condition it is in now. A few years ago--9 year ago, to be exact--I spent my summer in the city as an exchange student. I remembered loving the city, especially the times when I was walking back home alone after school, wandering around the city and discovering new things. I still have vivid memories of discovering a temple in the middle of a bamboo forest on top of a hill, the path to which is hidden by masses of blossoming hydrangeas. Driving through a mist-covered forests to go to an onsen. Driving along almost deserted beaches (the Japanese do not really have a beach culture) to get to Matsushima Bay, which was probably fundamentally altered by the ensuing tsunami. Enjoying the Tanabata Festival, and helping my host family make okonomiyaki for their neighborhood festival. Sadly, I have lost contact with them. I can only hope that they are fine. I hope that the city builds itself back up again, and I wish to visit it again when it does so.