I wrote earlier that while the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 3/11 wasn't really the knockout blow in Tokyo that some westerners still seem to think it was, there was still some damage that's visible even today. Here are a few more photos of that - I actually can't be 100% sure that this is all earthquake damage, but in some cases I know it is.
First, here's a reprise of the damaged houses I posted earlier:
A little different photo, but you see all the blue tarps covering the damaged roofs. This was in Ibaraki prefecture. I also passed by a building that had collapsed completely and where one person had died, but I didn't take a photo of it. Mostly the area is intact, but you do see a few things like this here and there.
This is one of the gates to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. We asked the security guard and he said yes, this is earthquake damage. There was actually a lot of this around the palace, which isn't really too surprising given that many of the buildings on the grounds were built around 400 years ago. (Well, I guess that makes it surprising in one way, if they've survived that long.)
This may or may not be earthquake damage - we didn't ask - but it's weird if it isn't. I'm not sure what else they could be doing here other than fixing a giant hole that opened up in the stone palace garden walls.
This is a random patch in the walls of the subway. Not a common sight in the Tokyo subway, and it looks fresh. I'm assuming there was a minor collapse here that's been fixed.
And of course, the most oddly disturbing and symbolic visual - the tip of Tokyo Tower is bent. This was easily visible from our hotel. (I shot this photo from our hotel window.) Last I heard, there are no immediate plans to fix this. I don't know - it seems a little dangerous to me to leave a big piece of metal that high up bent like this - but apparently they don't really know what to do about it.
Well, that's all I saw. That's all I saw. I know from experience that it's easy to look at photos like this and get an idea that the whole city is a shambles, but only a tiny percentage even has so much as a crack. Up north is a different story, but Tokyo was mostly spared.
I also mentioned before that I hadn't experienced an aftershock yet by my second day - well, now I can say I didn't feel a single one the entire time I was there. There was one, but it was up north and you couldn't feel it in Tokyo. My stay for the week I was there was peaceful. Things seem to be calming down a lot.