An ode to Japanese resilience, and why you should still visit Hiroshima and Kurashiki

Record rainfall in western Japan battered the town of Kumano in Hiroshima prefecture, causing a massive landslide that instantly ended lives and flattened homes in the area.
The roads of Mabi district in Kurashiki, Japan, are lined with water-damaged furniture, and garbage bags full of mud-soaked clothing, books and utensils that residents have thrown out.
The roads of Mabi district in Kurashiki, Japan, are lined with water-damaged furniture, and garbage bags full of mud-soaked clothing, books and utensils that residents have thrown out.ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM
The school hall of Nima Elementary School in Kurashiki, Japan, has been converted into a makeshift evacuation shelter.
The school hall of Nima Elementary School in Kurashiki, Japan, has been converted into a makeshift evacuation shelter.ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

KURASHIKI (OKAYAMA)/KUMANO (HIROSHIMA) - The first sign that something was amiss during my drive from Kurashiki to Hiroshima came at highway pitstops and in some convenience stores, their shelves stripped entirely of bottled water.

Next was a closed-off portion of the Sanyo Expressway which meant a lengthy detour.

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