In February 2018, we at JapanWonderTravel.com initiated our first ‘Fukushima DIsaster Area Tour’ from TOKYO.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), people in Fukushima have constantly received the reputational damage. Now, the community hopes that people across the world visit the site and ultimately change their negative image of Fukushima.
Our aim to organize the tour is for revitalizing Fukushima, to spread correct information by showing real current situation of Fukushima and to create new jobs around Fukushima coast area to welcome new residents in the future.
It’s also important for visitors to learn from the history.
In 2019 we start the 2-day tour to Fukushima so that we can cover more places where we can’t go on the 1-day tour. 2-day tour allows us to explore Fukushima cost area.
Let us explain about the difference between 1-day tour and 2 day tour in this article.
- Where is “Fukushima”? Why from Tokyo?
- How long can we explore?
- What we can see?
- ①Around the center of Namie town
- ②Ukedo area (coast area of Namie town)
- ③Cow farm (mountain side of Namie town)
- ④Route 6 through exclusion zone
- ⑤Tomioka town
- ⑥Flower farm
- ⑦Community center of Naraha town
- ⑧J village (national training center, was an operational base to cope with the nuclear disaster)
- ⑨Kaniarai hot spring/ Hattachi kaigan
- ⑩Iwaki kairo museum (Open air museum)
- Which tour should you take?
- Fukushima Disaster Area Tours
Where is “Fukushima”? Why from Tokyo?
This tour starts from Tokyo, not Fukushima.
Some tourists think “Fukushima” is the place of nuclear power plant but Fukushima is also the name of Prefecture and city (capital of Fukushima prefecture).
Read more to know about Fukushima Prefecture
Fukushima prefecture is the 3rd largest prefecture in Japan and Fukushima city (Fukushima station) is about 60km from the coastal area. From Tokyo, it’s about 200-250km.
There is a highway from Tokyo to the disaster area but there is none from Fukushima station to the disaster area. Travel times are as follows;
– From Tokyo : about 7 hours for a round trip by van
– From Fukushima station : about 4 hours for a round trip by van
(+ Tokyo to Fukushima station; it’s 3 hours for a round trip by bullet train)
Not only the time-wise reason, at the moment there are more skilled English speaking guides available in Tokyo, so we organize the tour from Tokyo.
In the future, we would like to do the tour from the coast area.
*We sometimes receive inquiries if the guests can join the tour from Fukushima city or the coast area. But we don’t go to Fukushima city during the tour and we tell important information about the place and radiation on the bus on the way to the coast area.
Please understand we can’t do the tour from Fukushima for now.
How long can we explore?
It takes 7 hours for a round trip from Tokyo by bus or van.
So in 1-day tour, we can explore about 5 hours and in 2-day tour it’s 13 hours including lunch time. It’s clear that we can spend much time in 2-day tour. Here is the time table during the tour.
*Due to traffic jam or some reason, we may change the itinerary.
What we can see?
In the disaster area, the situation changes day by day.
Many houses and buildings are demolished every day so please understand that what we can see may be changed.
Due to the condition on that date, where we can visit will be changed. Basically in 1-day tour we focus on the disaster area (Tsunami and Nuclear disaster) and in 2-day tour we have more time in each place and we could also visit the place where local start the new activity and rebuild the community.
– In 1-day tour, we explore Namie town(①②③) and Tomioka town(⑤) where evacuation orders have been lifted in 2017. And we drive through Futaba and Okuma town (④) where is under exclusion zone.
– In 2-day tour, additionally we visit Naraha town where evacuation orders have been lifted in 2015 (⑦⑧) and explore Iwaki city(⑨⑩) which had a big earthquake and was attacked by Tsunami but no evacuation orders.
①Around the center of Namie town
②Ukedo area (coast area of Namie town)
③Cow farm (mountain side of Namie town)
④Route 6 through exclusion zone
⑦Community center of Naraha town
⑧J village (national training center, was an operational base to cope with the nuclear disaster)
⑨Kaniarai hot spring/ Hattachi kaigan
⑩Iwaki kairo museum (Open air museum)
Which tour should you take?
If you have time in Japan, we definitely recommend 2-day tour.
You can learn about Fukushima coast area one step deeper.
Pt 1: Spent part of the day driving through “no entry” zones and walking through recently reopened sections of Okuma (大熊町). Radiation levels changed radically depending on the section. #hopefukushima pic.twitter.com/c8HE5OGPcY— Norman England ノーマン・イングランド (@normancengland) October 1, 2019
🇯🇵 J’ai “visité” les environs de la centrale nucléaire de Fukushima Daiichi et j’ai pu en apprendre plus sur la situation sur place!— Un Gaijin Au Japon (@UnGaijinAuJapon) October 23, 2018
👉 A lire par ici: https://t.co/KIIWkAzgaR pic.twitter.com/03D7sAnGAy
went to a flower farm in fukushima as well! the local businesses are trying to get back on track after the disaster of 2011. so lovely to see it slowly being revived by the community ♥️ #hopefukushima @JapanWTravel pic.twitter.com/cTxBTZxehC— Carlos Quiapo (@qarloscuiapo) November 6, 2019
But as we know you have a limited time in Japan when you travel.
If so, we recommend 1-day tour. It’s also helpful to understand the current and real situation of Fukushima disaster area.It will be a once in a life time experience.
We hope you visit Fukushima at least once.
Seeing is believing, it will be something you will never forget from your Japan trip.