Do any of you have fears – well, maybe not actual FEAR fears, but something that freaks you out so much that you actively avoid it? Some people think that clowns are really creepy. Others won’t fly because the thought of it scares them (they need to read this post – granted, it was written pre-COVID). A friend of ours doesn’t like roller coasters.
Me? I’ve got a thing about earthquakes. I know exactly where it came from, too. In 2nd grade, I ordered a book from Scholastic (remember them?) about earthquakes. It had a photo from the Good Friday earthquake that happened in Alaska in 1964 – something like this:
Seeing the result of something so powerful that it caused a city street to sink 15 feet just had some sort of effect on me. I’ve been a little leery of the possibility of earthquakes ever since.
Fortunately, it never really overtook my life. I still went to places like California and Japan, but just mentally crossed my fingers that “the big one” wouldn’t happen while I was there.
Over the years, my apprehension about earthquakes decreased and I didn’t even cross my fingers anymore. Sure, I’d still give it a little thought while we were in places that were prone to earthquakes, but it wasn’t any big deal. So I figured I was “done” with it, right?
If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know that Joe and I were planning on going to Japan in November 2020. Like a half dozen or more of our 2020 trips, along with millions upon millions of other peoples’ planned travels in 2020, it was canceled. Thanks, COVID.
We decided that we’d reschedule our trip for roughly the same dates in 2021, assuming we were both vaccinated by then, Japan was letting visitors from the U.S. enter, we tested negative before the trip, yadda yadda yadda. Joe’s already been looking at flights and found business class R/T flights on JAL for 60K miles each.
We know we want to go back to Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea because they’re the world’s greatest theme parks. We’d also like to spend a day or two at Universal Studios Osaka for what would be our first time. So we’re trying to plan the vacation around those two destinations and go to other cities and places we’ve never seen before. With 4 trips to Japan already under my belt and 3 under Joe’s, that’s not so easy, especially when we’ve already been to several of the larger cities across the southern half of the country.
Anyway, Joe was searching for places near Osaka and came across Awaji Island, which is known for several museums (including one that recently opened that’s devoted to Godzilla. Yeah, we’re quirky). As he was reading about one of the other museums on the island, he said out loud, “Oh wow, this is SO up our alley. But NOPE.”
It turned out he had discovered the Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park & Nojima Fault Preservation Museum. It was made after the Great Kobe earthquake of 1995, which killed over 6,000 people (and occurred a year or two after my first visit to Japan, and we had visited Kobe back then, and yes, I freaked out a little bit at the time that somewhere I had been had later gone through such a huge earthquake). The museum has displays of the devastation caused by the earthquake, as well as an earthquake simulator. But the main display is a long hall with a preserved section of the Nojima Fault exposed. It’s been left exactly as it was after the earth moved, with the buckled ground and the long line of the fault, one side higher than the other.
Now, don’t get me wrong – Joe and I LOVE oddball “not art” museums. We’ve been to:
- The Neon Museum and the Pinball Hall of Fame museum, both in Las Vegas.
- The Museum of Death (I don’t really recommend that one – here’s why) and the Pharmacy Museum (but that one is great!), both in New Orleans.
- The Austrian museum that’s devoted to one of the most popular Christmas songs in the world.
- The Ghibli Museum, in Japan, back in 2005 (assuming we make it back to Japan in 2021, we’re going to try to get back there)
- The home that Alexander and Eliza Hamilton built in Harlem (it’s now a national memorial and museum)
- The museum in Hiroshima that’s devoted to the atom bomb that struck there, and the tsunami museum in Hilo, Hawaii.
And although we haven’t been yet, we both have our eyes on the Hayao Miyazaki exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, the Museum of Wine in France, the museum in Tazmania that has a working poop machine, and, of course, the Museum of Sex in NYC.
But a museum that’s devoted to, lets you experience, and shows the extreme devastation from a huge earthquake? Sharon-the-2nd-grader, who apparently still lives deep inside me, definitely says NOPE. So we’re not going there. 😉
Feature Photo: Nojima Fault Preservation Museum
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary