A HOPE TOURISM trip that looks to the future at the site of nuclear power and disaster.
Over eight years have passed since the Hamadori area of Fukushima was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting meltdown at the nuclear reactor. While Hamadori is slowly recovering, the area still faces various challenges, such as sustainable energy, how to overcome difficulties, and how to rebuild the local community.
Travelling in this region can provide hints to help shape our future.
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More than eight years have passed since the March 11th disasters, yet their impact continues to affect those living in Fukushima prefecture. Over 30 million tourists travel to Japan each year, and it is likely that quite a few people among that number wonder about Fukushima. Is it safe now? Have radiation levels subsided? Are people living there? What if there's another earthquake? And so on.
For anybody who is still concerned or worried about Fukushima after all this time, we invite you to come and see the Fukushima of today firsthand.
While there are people who can’t, or don’t want to, return to the area, there are still plenty more who have returned, or even moved to the area, and have set about shaping the region's future. While the nuclear power plant is gradually decommissioned, efforts to become a “mecca for renewable energy” are proceeding at a rapid pace.
If you come to this area, observe, and listen to the locals, you will surely start thinking the same way. In order for our future to survive, issues to do with energy, local communities, and an overly consumerist culture need to be addressed, but how should each one of us think and act on these issues?
Look to present-day Fukushima, and you will find the hints that encourage us to think about our future way of life, the "SEEDS of HOPE".
On March 11th, 2011, Fukushima prefecture was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the most powerful ever recorded in Japan, that occurred off the Sanriku Coast and was accompanied by a tsunami that caused a major incident at the nuclear power plant. On the coast, the after-effects of the damage caused by the tsunami that triggered the nuclear meltdown still scar the landscape.
On the other hand, there are areas where decontamination work has progressed, the evacuation order has been lifted, and people have returned and are beginning new lives.
If you are interested in the current radiation levels, and want to find out more, click the link.
What happened because of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami? How have the lives and future of people living in Fukushima changed?
Accompanied by one of our field partners (local guides) who are experts on the area, you can go round Fukushima and learn the facts of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident, and experience the reality of Fukushima.
Eight years on since the disasters, the Fukushima Innovation Coast Framework has introduced new industries into the area, such as the Mega Solar Power Plant and Robot Testing Field, and the decontamination and reconstruction work has led to a return of the younger generation, slowly reviving the area towards a new future.
There are people who are creating spaces where people can get together and socialise, forging a new sense of community.
Owners of inns and hotels are welcoming guests from Japan and overseas, and sharing their memories of the earthquake.
There are many people like this in Fukushima who are making various efforts towards recovery.
Speak to them on a trip to Hamadori and you will get a sense of the present state of Fukushima,
which just might lead to some important hints for leading our own lives in the future.