Well, in my 3 years of living in Japan I knew I would experience many tremors. Didn't expect the BIG ONE to hit though. But today a little past 14:30, it did.
We didn't realize how big it was at first. We had JUST finished our lunch at our fav soup curry place and had finished our errands for the day, when the place started gently rolling and swaying, which is pretty standard for us. But then it really started to shake, and we saw the mid-level buildings across the street undulate like crazy. People spilled out onto the street, and while nobody actually panicked, everybody felt queasy and didn't really know what to do. Slowly people started to get back to what they were doing; we went into the nearby department store basement (which is one of the safer places to be in such a situation) and then the huge aftershock hit. It's 21:30 now, and we're still feeling them.
Our place was fine, but inside things were all over the floor (nothing broken, shockingly). But as a precaution, they turned off the gas, so no stove or hot water for us yet.
It was big here in the capital. But a little ways up north in the formerly beautiful city of Sendai, it's so much worse. The tsunami has already hit there, sweeping away farms, cars, houses...horrible.
Trains are still down in Tokyo and won't be up until tmr, so people are either sleeping in their offices or hotels, trying to catch buses or taxis (good luck with that), but most people are walking. We were lucky because we were in our hood, so it was a familiar 20 minute walk from the downtown area back to our place, though made rather difficult by the hordes of people walking and standing around.
No work for the next few days, because all office buildings have to undergo structural checks. Thank goodness for the Internet though. After the quake the phone networks were totally down, but we were able to skype and email friends and family easily. Tomorrow we're heading to our friends house (walking most likely) for an early dinner and to hang out and try to feel better about all this.
One thing for sure, it's going to be a long night! Forgive the lack of OOTD, I'm sure you all understand. Back to our regularly scheduled programming next week!
Just for reference, this quake was the biggest to hit Japan since records began. It's multiple times stronger than the recent disaster in Christchurch.