Howdy! Thanks for everone's e-mails, thoughts & prayers.
We felt the big, m8.9 earthquake yesterday afternoon. The ground shook and street lights swayed. I was driving some guests from the train station at the time. We're a long ways (about 450 kilometers) from Sendai which is nearby the epicenter, so the shaking wasn't that violent here. No damage, no books or dishes falling from shelves or anything. But the scary part was how long the quake lasted. Officially it was 2 minutes, but it seemed a lot longer than that.
Then this morning around 4am, another earthquake hit on the northern edge of our prefecture, Nagano. It was much more of a shocker, but fortunately no damage. It woke us all up, except our little Misaki (who turns 4 today by the way) who kept snoring through the whole thing. It was over pretty quickly but was followed by several aftershocks that kept us (again, except for Misaki) from going back to sleep.
Through it all, we've had no problems with gas, electricity, water, onsen water, or anything. Phone service has been sketchy, though.
So, no damage, no injuries. However, what hurts the most is all of our cancelations. We had 57 people booked for this Saturday night -- now we're down to 12.
For now, all we can do is say a prayer for those suffering loss from the earthquake and tsunami.