Every Sunday morning, a decades-old market in Miyagi Prefecture is crowded with local residents and tourists making their way down narrow aisles and checking out a variety of fresh seafood.

The bustling market in the Yuriage district of Natori has become part of the small port city's scenery — but the scenes that play out now were once unthinkable.

"I had almost given up my business, and didn't believe that we could rebuild our market," said Koichi Sakurai, who runs a seafood retailer at the market, recalling the devastation of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.