There was just an earthquake! It was the biggest one I’ve ever felt – intensity 3-4 on the Japanese scale in this area, and it lasted about two minutes. I’ve never been in one of more than twenty or thirty seconds before. My first instinct was to move my cup of tea away from my computer. My second was to get under the bed, but I had a duffle bag under there and couldn’t fit, so I pulled the futon over my head instead. This struck me after a moment as being not particularly helpful. So I went outside in my socks, which are now very wet. (The duffle bag now resides elsewhere.)
The only people to go out into the street were other foreigners from the guest house. I could hear some of the Japanese neighbors going “Kowai! Sugee!” but none of them left their houses. I imagine that this particular street isn’t really all that much safer than indoors anyway. It’s very narrow, and there are potted plants and stuff on everyone’s windowsills and porches.
And Mo just texted me to make sure I wasn’t panicking. I’m not panicking! I panicked only temporarily. There were never any noticeable earthquakes up in Shibata, so I’d kind of forgotten to expect them – I thought the clattering was rain at first.