Earthquake Update

March 14th, 2011 by
Category: Information
Many people have contacted us about the recent earthquakes.  Thanks for your e-mails, and for your thoughts and concerns. 

Here in Togura Kamiyada Onsen just outside of Nagano City, we felt the big, m8.9 earthquake Friday afternoon.  The ground shook and street lights swayed.  I was driving some guests from the train station at the time.  We’re a long ways (about 450 kilometers) from Sendai which is nearby the epicenter, so the shaking wasn’t that violent here.  No damage, no books or dishes falling from shelves or anything.  But the scary part was how long the quake lasted.  Officially it was 2 minutes, but it seemed a lot longer than that.

Then Saturday morning around 4am, another earthquake hit on the northern edge of our prefecture, Nagano.  It was much more of a shocker, but fortunately no damage.  It woke us all up.  It was over pretty quickly but was followed by several aftershocks that kept us from going back to sleep. 

Through it all, we’ve had no problems with gas, electricity, water, onsen water, or anything.  Phone service was sketchy for a while, though. 

So, no damage, no injuries.  And from what I hear from my fellow innkeepers across the prefecture, that is pretty much the case with all inns in Nagano.  Even at the onsen town closest to the Saturday morning quake, some inns had minor damage with falling roof tiles.  

Transportation-wise, the Nagano Shinkansen is now running on schedule.  The JR Iiyama Line suffered a landslide forcing the track to be closed past Togari Nozawa Onsen Station.  JR Ltd. Exp. “Azusa” from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto is out of service due to electricity shortage near Tokyo.  **UPDATE** As of 17-March, JR Ltd. Exp. “Azusa” is running again.  All other lines in Nagano are operating normally.   Updated info (in Japanese) at

No rolling black out warnings (Nagano is on a separate electrical grid from Tokyo), and we are several hundred kilometers outside the nuclear danger zone.  We are waiting to show you our usual ‘omotenashi’ hospitality.

At the same time, we pray for those who suffered loss from the earthquake and tsunami.

Will let you know about any further news.

Tyler / Togura Kamiyamada Onsen


2 Responses to “Earthquake Update

  1. This earthquake has shaken us all up. TV on or off, we feel like a heavy rock is sitting on our heart to think of those who are affected. At the same time, I was thinking of voicing my true appreciation on this blog toward those who showed the warmest concerns to us people in Japan. It really warmed my heart to get these kind e-mails , and I hope to do the same in other accasions.

  2. Hi, Tyler,

    Thank you for this information. I lived in Nagano many years ago, and am happy to hear everyone there is okay.

Leave a Reply



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.