Tohoku Relief/Reconstruction Information

So you want to volunteer in Tohoku (e.g. Sendai, Ishinomaki, Kesennuma, Ōfunato, etc.) but are having trouble figuring out how to get there. This page provides information that can help you get there. To find out about connecting with people who can connect you with a volunteer organization or activity, see Tohoku Kanto Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction.

Transportation

Tohoku Train Status Information provides up to date information in English about the local train lines operating in the Tohoku area. As of June 19, the local trains are still not running at normal schedule and in some cases not operating at all. Having scanned a number of people’s blogs written in Japanese and speaking with volunteers that have been on site, there is conflicting information as to what is operating and what is not. So I would not consider relying on any particular blog. I found (in Japanese only) the Miyako bus schedule which runs between Sendai Station (SendaiekiMae) and Ishinomaki Station (IshinomakieiMae) charging 800 yen one way. If you are going alone, best to check with the Miyako Bus Company by calling 0225-22-4161. Also, check out these time tables, which include the Daikou bus schedule to Ishinomaki and from Ishinomaki.

Highway Bus
Willer Express is the only one with a relevant English web site.
Highway Bus.com is in Japanese.
Equipment, Clothing, Gear, etc.

If you are going to volunteer, you need to be prepared with the right clothing and equipment. Even if you volunteer through an organization they will not provide everything that you will need during your volunteer activity, so here are some resources to review to help you prepare.
Work boots

Volunteer Insurance

Most if not all volunteer organizations, NPOs, etc. require you to have proof of volunteer insurance. Some of them may provide it in the volunteer package they offer, but if you need to do it yourself, check out the links below.
In Japanese

Tourism

Last, if you are not volunteering, but just want to spend you money in the Tohoku area which in itself is a GOOD thing, you might want to call the number associated with the place you want to go displayed in Tohoku Tourist Contact Telephone Numbers.

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