Iwai-saki is a beautiful cape surrounded by pine trees located at the southern end of Rikuchu Seacoast National Park in Kensennuma city, Miyagi prefecture.

While the area around the cape is now still and peaceful, large sections of Kensennuma city were destroyed and hundreds of lives lost in the tsunami and fires triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake last March.

While Kensennuma has a long road to recovery ahead of it, the city is said to be experiencing an increase in visitors recently who come to see a lone pine tree twisted in the shape of a dragon that stands alone on a beach of Iwai-saki.

We travelled to Kensennuma with camera in hand to see the scene for ourselves.

Iwai-zaki is roughly 10km away from the center of Kensennuma by car, and we happened to visit the same day a giant cold wave hit Japan and the road was slippery and white with snow.

As we approached the cape, we were presented with a barren scenery including several buildings that had been devestated by the tsunami.

After safely reaching our destination, we walked out into the snow and the pine tree soon came into our sight.

2012 is the year of the dragon and this March will mark the 1 year anniversary of the disaster. Given this timing and location, it’s no wonder this tree has become known all over Japan. I myself couldn’t help but see a dragon bursting forth mightily from the earth to watch over Kensennuma.

The dragon tree has become a symbol of recovery to the city and its image is even being printed on postcards. By becoming a tourist spot, perhaps the dragon of Kensennuma will bring back some much-needed fortune to the city.

Pictures: RocketNews24, Yoshio

[ Read in Japanese ]