Life in Tokyo

The jishin

My sensei said if anything should ever happen in Tokyo, it’s the bay that’s going to feel it the most. The 5.6 magnitude earthquake on Monday shook Tokyo and I felt it.

Several earthquakes had happened since I arrived. Most of them were mild. Some shook the floor a bit, but lasted for 10 seconds or so.

On Monday though, it was on a different scale. Suddenly my desk was rattling, so was my laptop and everything else and the wall sounded like it was cracking. After 15 seconds went on, I called Reza and said to him:


He told me to go under the table. If things don’t fall on the ground yet, it’s still ok, he said.

Don’t know how long it really lasted, but after that the ground was swaying.

By that time, my classmates were already texting each other on the group chat to say that they felt it. The Japanese were a but more chill, as expected.

During my foundation week here, the school had a week’s long session to get us assimilated to their system and one of the session is about dealing with emergencies i.e. what to do when natural disasters strike — earthquakes, tsunami, fires. We were taught to understand basic earthquake/tsunami/fire key words, so that when emergencies announcements are made, we’d understand them. We were taught how to deal with them, like putting out fire with fire extinguisher and dealing with earthquake of a grand scale with a real life earthquake simulator.

Despite all this, instead of ducking below my desk, I called Reza instead 😆

After that he called me on Skype and said the way I told him about it in the earlier call, it’s as if the buildings were already going to runtuh hahahaha.

“You belajar kan? Apa benda first yang you kena buat kalau ada jishin?”

“Duduk bawah meja.”

“Next time, duduk bawah meja.”


It gave me adrenaline rush, but don’t think I want to experience it again, especially being on the 7th floor on the bay.

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  • Avatar
    Haneys Omar
    May 18, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    That must have been a scary experience for you. Stay safe, Mia 🙂

  • Avatar
    May 23, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    I experienced it too! Was visiting tokyo during tht period and after a looong day of shibazakura visit, we were back at our aptmt. Didnt help as it was on 11th floor. Scary merry!! Husb was in the toilet (even worse haha). Phones and other system inside the house starts going crazy with alarm. Fuh didnt help at all. Host told us to just stay in the building should it happen again as the building is quite new and built to earthquake standard

    • Avatar
      June 5, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      Lol! If you had an iPhone with you, it would’ve alarmed you by saying JISHIN! (EARTHQUAKE!) repeatedly too.

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