Useful Information

People of Fukushima

People of Fukushima

People of Fukushima

Over ten years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster devastated people living along the coastline of the North Eastern region of Japan known as Tohoku. Despite the overwhelming love and support that poured in from around the world, the journey of grieving and overcoming this terrible set of circumstances must have been too great at the time to even imagine a brighter future.

However, today when you visit Fukushima you’ll see people smiling, children laughing, and flowers blooming. The smiles on the faces of the people of Fukushima seem contrary to the hardships they’ve experienced…

It makes one wonder, could this possibly be the same place?

Through their smiles we can begin to understand the story of a people who have overcome difficult circumstances, and continue to stay optimistic and remain motivated to overcome anything that comes their way.

In a relatively short time frame, recovery efforts have progressed greatly. This is largely thanks to the astounding motivation and hard work of local people whose love for their hometowns and communities is extremely touching. Although there is still work to be done, Fukushima is a wonderful prefecture that deserves more love and attention, so I hope that you will keep reading to learn more, and even consider visiting someday.



Tokyo Plus 90

Widely considered to be the gateway to the Tohoku region, Fukushima Prefecture is a land of rich history and abundant nature.

It’s closer that you think, only 90 minutes from Tokyo!

This remote prefecture may seem difficult to reach; however, you can get to Fukushima Station from Tokyo Station in only 90 minutes! From there you can access spectacular historic sights and experience the charms of rural Japan!


Time Travel?

Experience the charms of ancient Japan by visiting the historic sights of Fukushima, many of which have maintained their structures for over 300 years! The Aizu region is the main sight-seeing area of Fukushima Prefecture thanks to the regions large number of preserved historical sights. There is also an abundance of hot springs, natural resources, and historical charm that draw in visitors. This is the area of Fukushima that experienced the least damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake.


Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu City

The Tsurgajo Castle was burned to the ground when the age of the samurai came to a violent end after the events of the Boshin War. With great care, the castle was reconstructed from the rubble to honor the valiant warriors who gave their lives to defend the Aizu Clan and her borders. The original stone base tells stories of the past such as etchings of crosses that suggest the existence of Christian groups within the Aizu clan, a rarity at the time.


Visit the frozen castle of the Aizu samurai clan...


During the winter months, the red tinted tiles of the castle roof covered with snow combine with the striking white walls, making the castle appear to be made of ice and snow. A sight that must have been a great source of pride among the samurai citizens of Fukushima!



After vising the former castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu city, we highly recommend a trip to the one of a kind Ouchi-juku! This beautifully preserved post town once served as a rest stop for samurai travelers who were required to make yearly pilgrimages to the capital of Edo (Modern day Tokyo) during the Edo period (1603-1868).



The town still retains its original thatched roof buildings and atmosphere. The charming local residents are friendly and love to chat with travelers! In fact, all of the inns, cafes, and restaurants are still locally owned and operated by the descendants of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago. Without the presence of modern shops and chain stores, you can feel totally immersed, making it feel as though you’ve slipped back in time.



Enjoy a cup of warm tea & a traditional snack while you soak up the atmosphere.


When you visit, be sure to try a freshly baked rice cracker as well as Ouchi-juku's specialty negi-soba! This fun noodle dish is eaten with a long green onion as a utensil. The streets are lined with different vendors serving up old fashioned Japanese snacks. With so many options, it’s tempting to try them all. Many vendors will offer you tea and a place to sit and soak in the atmosphere of the town. If they aren’t too busy they will almost certainly strike up a conversation with you, whether you speak Japanese or not.




The Suzuki Brewery in Namie Town

Namie Town is located in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture known as the Hamadori area. This was one of the areas that suffered tremendous damage during the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Suzuki Sake Brewery used to operate a sake brewery in Namie Town's Ukedo district, this building was located steps from the sea and was physically destroyed by the tsunami wave.



This left the owner of the brewery without a home or a livelihood.


They managed to evacuate with the necessities of the brewery and after the disaster, the brewery was moved to Nagai City to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture in October 2011 (the same year as the earthquake). Since then, they’ve continued to brew sake with the hope of preserving the traditional sake brewing techniques that had been developed by generations of brewers in Namie Town.



Finally, on March 20, 2021, the brewery was able to return to its hometown of Namie with the opening of a new brewery at the Namie Roadside Station. Here, visitors can watch the Suzuki brewers at work making their delicious sake. They even use locally grown rice to make some of their sake, with a focus on maintaining their hometown flavor.



At the Namie Roadside Station, you can visit the sake brewery and taste their freshly brewed sake. For visitors who don't drink sake, there is also a sake flavored soft serve ice cream that is absolutely delicious. The soft serve comes in a traditional wooden sake cup!

Namie Roadside Station (


Nature’s Candy

These are “Anpo-gaki,” or semi-dried persimmons. This is a healthy and popular traditional sweet from Date City in Fukushima Prefecture. They are dried persimmons with a chewy outer layer and a sweet gelatinous textured interior that is absolutely incredible. The beautiful and distinct orange color (in addition to the superb taste) make it one of the most popular dried persimmon producers in Japan.



Anpo-gaki have a long history that dates back to the Edo period.


Even in ancient times Date City was widely known for its natural abundance of delicious fruits. People used to hang dried persimmons in the sun to preserve them for a longer period of time, the sight of persimmons hanging from private homes was common. However, persimmons lose their beautiful color in the intense light of the sun. So, after many years of careful research and creativity by the local people, they developed a special method of drying persimmons in shaded, open air rafters that help them to maintain their gorgeous orange color and grow in popularity.



When the disaster occurred, local farmers were unable to produce anpo-gaki for many years due to safety concerns. People were concerned that they would lose the tradition of drying persimmons. However, with time and immense efforts from local farmers, they were able to meet strict requirements that deemed the anpo-gaki safe for consumption. Even once the products were tested and found to be safe, due to rumors and fears of radiation, it was difficult to ship products.

Finally, this year, we achieved our long-standing goal of exporting anpo-gaki! Anpo-gaki from Fukushima Prefecture are now available in Dubai. This is a huge achievement and mark of progress for farmers in Date city. Today, people in Date City continue to produce delicious Anpo-gaki while preserving their traditional techniques.

Persimmon Paradise in Date City Blog


Fighting to preserve rural culture in a rapidly urbanizing Japan

The man holding the camera is Mr. Hoshi Kenko. Born and raised in Kanayama Town in the Okuaizu region of Aizu Area, he spends roughly 300 days out of the year photographing his hometown. Thanks in part to his efforts, this beautiful area has become an increasingly popular spot to visit.

In post-war Japan, when urban areas were expanding rapidly, many young people left their hometowns to work in bigger cities. This caused a decrease in the population of the Okuaizu region. This is something that has affected rural communities across Japan and has inspired a sense of crisis for some, including Mr. Hoshi.



Without action, there was fear that the tradition & beauty of the farming villages could be lost forever.


Using his own money, he took it upon himself to do anything he could to preserve the local traditions of coexisting with nature. Through his photography, he raised interest in the area. He also revived a once lost traditional Japanese-style river-boat ferry service known as the Mugenkyo Ferry or Mugenkyo no Watashi. Thanks to Mr. Hoshi and many other highly motivated people in the region, the culture of rural Fukushima is being preserved and the area is becoming more lively.


The Tadami Line

photo by Kenko Hoshi


Still relatively undiscovered by foreign travelers, this is certainly a unique adventure. The views from the train are beautiful no matter the season, but the atmosphere is particularly romantic in winter.

The Tadami Line's No.1 bridge viewpoint became famous in Taiwan and South East Asian countries when a photo of it began to circulate on social media. This incredibly scenic train line runs across the Aizu region and passes through many historic and beautiful areas.


photo by Kenko Hoshi


Part of the JR Tadami Line, which served as a lifeline for the local people was washed away by a major storm that hit the area in the summer of 2011. A bus route was established to complete the route with full restoration predicted to be completed by the end of this year, 2022.


Mugenkyo Ferry (Mugenkyo no Watashi)

The ferry was named " misty gorge" or "Mugenkyo" because it was often shrouded in mist on summer mornings and evenings, creating a dream-like atmosphere. This (now restored) ferry service once connected the now abandoned village Sanzara Village in Kaneyama Town to the other side of the river some 50 years ago. Like private cars, ferry boats like these were used as a part of daily life in the area.

Although the local people were very poor, they were creative & resilient.

Due to volcanic activity, flooding, and landslides they had to relocate their village several times! Each time, however, they adapted and overcame their difficult situations. Continuing to choose a lifestyle that involved coexisting with nature.




The mist enveloping the area is great for photographers, and visitors who want to get a glimpse back into the unique lifestyles of ancient Japan. Here you can glide across the emerald waters, and escape the noise and busyness of modern day life for a moment.


Aizu Lacquerware at Suzuzen

Aizu Lacquerware is one of Japan's three major lacquerware styles. The history of Aizu Lacquerware dates back to the Muromachi period (1336-1573) when it was first used. The natural warmth of the wooden container combines with the soft texture of Aizu Lacquer to create a product that has been widely loved by people for generations.



Mr. Kosae Nakamura, pictured in the center of the photo, is a professional craftsman at Suzuzen, a lacquerware wholesale shop that was established in 1833. He creates lovely designs using “Makie” techniques that involve being finished using gold, silver, or colored dusted designs.

Due to harmful rumors caused by the nuclear power plant accident, the number of tourists to Aizuwakamatsu City decreased for a while. Sales were lower, and he began to worry for his business and the preservation of Aizu Lacquerware.

Despite this, Mr. Nakamura remained positive and explored new options



He thought that he could increase the awareness of maki-e and show others the value of lacquer-ware by teaching the techniques directly to the general public. So today if you visit Suzuzen, you can learn maki-e directly from a master craftsman! This is one way that the culture and traditions of Aizu are being carried into the future.

Maki Painting Lacquerware Experience at Suzuzen


These are just a few stories

The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster caused enormous damage in many ways, in many areas. In the coastal areas, many lost their loved ones, their homes, and their livelihood. Despite these circumstances, the people of Fukushima Prefecture have proven to be stronger than their challenge. By working together, people have rebuilt their communities and stepped forward into a brighter future.

I want people to know about the real Fukushima Prefecture.

I want people to learn about the real Fukushima Prefecture from the stories of those who live here. Each of us have our own small stories, and we will continue to create new stories together in Fukushima Prefecture. Of course, there are still some areas where people can't go home, but thanks to the support and understanding from people all over the world, each one of us has hope for the future.

Thank you for supporting us, and cheering us on.

If you are interested in learning more or supporting the people of Fukushima, please add Fukushima to your bucket list, come and experience this unique and often misunderstood Japanese Prefecture!


Latest posts

  1. Destination Spotlight

    Drift Taxi Experience at the Ebisu Circuit

    Nihonmatsu, a charming city in central Fukushima Prefecture, is known for its cultivation of rice and chrysanthemums, a famous lantern festival, and its thrilling motorsports scene. Many racing and drifting enthusiasts visit the Ebisu Circuit, a racing and drifting circuit tucked in the mountains of Nihonmatsu, to experience the adrenaline rush of drifting with a professional racer— a thrilling experience known as Drift Taxi.Experience OverviewDuring the Drift Taxi Experience, participants get to enjoy a thrilling ride while a pro driver drifts a few laps through three of the circuit courses. Although this might seem extreme at first, you can trust that your safety is in good hands with knowledgeable drivers who are experienced drifters. Since they are the ones who do the drifting, those who do not have a driver’s license can also participate.©JNTOWhat is Drifting, and What Does it Involve?Drifting is a motorsports technique in which a driver approaches a curve by oversteering the vehicle, causing it to glide sideways with the wheels facing the opposite direction to the turn. When drifting started growing in popularity in Japan during the 1980s, there were no closed courses where to practice, which meant that drifters would do it on public roads in the mountains at night, for which drifting gained a reputation for being dangerous. Nowadays, however, drifting has evolved into a widely recognized motorsport, with safety standards in place and thousands of enthusiasts and apprentices worldwide. Facilities like the Ebisu Circuit provide a safe space to enjoy and learn about drifting (the circuit also has a drifting school!).Driving and drifting safely is a top priority at the Ebisu Circuit. Apart from basic measures like fastening seat belts and wearing helmets, rest assured that drivers have a deep understanding of cars, oversteering, and drifting techniques.Meet Your Drivers“I am sometimes told that I have the best job in the world”, says Naoto Suenaga of his role driving for the Drift Taxi Experience at the circuit. Since first picking up an interest in cars decades ago, Suenaga has been an active member of the racing and drifting scene in Japan and is one of the salient members of Team Orange.So is Nobushige Kumakubo, the managing director of the Ebisu Circuit, who, after winning the D1 Grand Prix International Drift Championship in 2006, established himself as one of Japan’s legendary drifters and also travels the world connecting with others who share his passion for drifting.Although Kanta Yanaguida is among the youngest at the circuit and at Team Orange, his age should not be mistaken for a lack of experience. He is, in fact, a skilled and confident driver who has been honing his drifting abilities for over 10 years and frequently participates in racing and drifting events around the world.Cars Used for Drifting at the Ebisu CircuitCar manufacturers are making it increasingly difficult for drifters: new cars are anti-drifting by design. So, the drivers at the Ebisu Circuit tuned their vehicles for drifting. The two drift taxis used at the circuit are modified cars: a Toyota Chaser and a Toyota Mark II with above-average horsepower and bucket seats.Fasten Your Seatbelt for a Crazy Ride!Once the experience starts, the driver will drive you through the complex towards the drifting course. You will be required to wear a helmet and fasten your seatbelt. The driver will let you know once the drifting is set to begin. Whether you choose to sit on the passenger or the back seat, enjoy the electrifying halts, twists and turns as you dash through each of the three courses.BookingYou can book Ebisu Circuit’s Drift Taxi experience in English through this link.FAQs About the Drift Taxi Experience Are there any restrictions on who can participate? Participants must be over 140 cm tall to ride. Those with heart conditions or other health afflictions should ask their doctor before drifting. Do I need a driver’s license for this experience? No, you do not need to have a driver’s license to be able to participate in the experience. A professional driver from the Ebisu Circuit will be the one doing the drifting. Are there any requirements for participants? Participants are required to purchase insurance for an additional 500 yen. It is mandatory to ride with a helmet on and with the seatbelt fastened. How much does the Drift Taxi Experience cost? The experience is offered at a flat fee of 50,000 yen per vehicle.The price includes drifting several laps on three courses in one car with up to three passengers per car ride. For four participants or more, you can either take turns riding three at a time or book an additional car (up to two cars with a maximum of three passengers per car).The tires of the car wear off almost entirely after each Drift Taxi Experience. The price is calculated to cover the change of tires, as well as the cost of the gas and the expertise of the professional driver.If you go with a group, you will pay less per person than if you are going individually.  Can the drivers speak English? The drivers can speak basic English and are used to foreign visitors. How much time does the experience take? The experience takes approximately 45 minutes. How do I get to the Ebisu Circuit from Tokyo? Check the final section of this page for information about different ways of accessing the circuit from Tokyo.If you have any other questions, send them our way and we will do our best to assist you!Useful LinksEbisu CircuitEbisu Circuit: A Drift ParadiseEbisu Drift Matsuri (Ebisu Drift Festival)

    Drift Taxi Experience at the Ebisu Circuit
  2. Useful Information

    2023 Autumn Festivals in Fukushima: Dates & Times

    As the heat of summer fades and the cool autumn breeze sets in, Fukushima Prefecture is energized with its autumn festivals. Travelers who visit from late September to Mid-November get to enjoy both breathtaking foliage and rich cultural festivities. Here are some of the festivals scheduled for the fall of 2023:Aizu Festival (Aizu-Wakamatsu City)This is one of the main events in the Aizu area. It features a procession of horseback riders dressed in samurai attire, parades, sword performances, and more. In Japanese: 会津まつり Place: Tsurugajo Castle & other locations in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Date: September 22 (Friday), 2023: Lantern Procession, Aizu-Mt. Bandai Dance September 23 (Saturday), 2023: Thanksgiving Ceremony for Ancestors, Procession of Aizu Domain Lords, Aizu-Mt. Bandai Dance September 24 (Sunday), 2023: Nisshinkan Children’s Parade, Drum and Fife Corps Parade Time: Varies depending on the event Tickets/Cost: Free to attend, but there might be a parking feeIf you are interested in participating in the parade, consider trying the SAMURAI CITY AIZU Special Program: Aizu Clan Lord Procession & Samurai Experience. The Kengido Samurai Experience is also scheduled for the same weekend as the Aizu Festival. Iizaka Kenka Matsuri (Fukushima City)Iizaka Onsen Town’s main yearly event is an exciting ‘fighting’ festival! Apart from taiko drums and food stalls, what makes this festival unique is the 'yatai' festival stalls that are fiercely pushed against each other as contending groups (each representing a different area of the town) try to get their mikoshi (portable shrine) into the Hachiman Shrine grounds first. More information about this festival and travel ideas in Iizaka Onsen. In Japanese: 飯坂けんか祭り Place: Hachiman Shrine. Click here for directions to Iizaka Onsen by train from Fukushima Station Date: Late September - early October (exact date TBD) Time: Evening (exact time TBD) Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival (Nihonmatsu City)With a history spanning back over 350 years, this vivid festival is a highly anticipated event in the central area of Fukushima! Large floats as tall as 11 m are lit up with over 300 paper lanterns and paraded to the beat of traditional music. In Japanese: 二本松の提灯祭り Place: Nihonmatsu Shrine Date: October 7 (Saturday), 8 (Sunday), and 9 (Monday). Held every year on the first Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of October. Time: Depends on the event Tickets/Cost: Free Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival (Nihonmatsu City)In Nihonmatsu City, autumn brings beautiful flowers! The city prides itself on its cultivation of chrysanthemums, the National Flower of Japan, which bloom spectacularly in the fall. Each year for a month, from Mid-October to Mid-November, the Kasumigajo Castle Park Grounds are enlivened with a colorful display of chrysanthemum flowers and decorated dolls. In Japanese: 二本松の菊人形 Place: Kasumigajo Castle Park Grounds (Nihonmatsu Castle) Date: October 10 (Tuesday) to November 19 (Sunday), 2023 Time: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets/Cost: General entry is 800 yen; 600 yen for those with disabilities, and free for middle-school-aged students and younger. Discounts may be applicable for groups of 20 people or more. Aizu Shiokawa Balloon Festival (Kitakata City)This local festival in Kitakata City is incredibly picturesque! Riding on one of the balloons requires a fee and previous registration, but spectators can enjoy the sight of balloons rising into the crisp autumn skies for free. In Japanese: 会津塩川バルーンフェスティバル Place: Nippashi-gawa Green Park Free Plaza (日橋川緑地公園自由広場) in Shiokawa-machi, Kitakata City Expected Date: October 8 (Sunday) and 9 (Monday) [to be confirmed] Time: TBD Tickets/Cost: Previous application (in Japanese) is required to fly, for which there is a fee. Please check the event's website (in Japanese) for more information. Hinoemata Kabuki (Hinoemata Village)This traditional art form passed on through generations is a fundamental tradition for the inhabitants of Hinoemata Village. There are typically three kabuki performances held each year, the last of which will be on September 2nd this year. For more information, please check our blog post 'Hinoemata Kabuki: A Hidden Gem of Japanese Folk Culture'. In Japanese: 桧枝岐歌舞伎 Place: 670 Idaira, Hinoemata Village, Minamiaizu District Date: September 2 (Saturday), 2023 Time: Venue opens at 18:00, performance starts at 19:00 Tickets/Cost: 1,000 yen per person (free for guests staying at the village) Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival (Sukagawa City)A spectacular fire festival in Sukagawa City, the Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival has a history stretching back 400 years. As the evening grows darker, the glowing fire and the rhythm of the taiko drums will make you feel as if you were transported to a different era. In Japanese: 松明あかし Place: Mt. Gorozan in Midorigaoka Park, Kuriyasawa, Sukagawa City Date: November 11 (Saturday), 2023 Time:  Main torches (Hon-taimatsu) Procession: 2:00 p.m. Big torches (Dai-taimatsu) Procession: 3:00 p.m. Main Event of lighting up the big torches (Dai-taimatsu): 6:30 p.m. Tickets/Cost: FreeUseful LinksTop 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in Fukushima5 Ginkgo Tree Spots To Visit In Fukushima This AutumnAutumn Colors of Fukushima

    2023 Autumn Festivals in Fukushima: Dates & Times
  3. Destination Spotlight

    Fukushima’s ‘Miracle’: A Visitor’s Guide to Ukedo Elementary School

    Step inside Ukedo Elementary School, and you’ll find dark walls, hanging cables, and rubble scattered across cracked floors. Yet, many call this place miraculous. While the building itself reflects the painful story of a disaster, it also stands as an enduring symbol of hope and unity.After a tsunami warning on March 11, 2011, teachers and principals at the Ukedo Elementary School, located 300 meters from the ocean in the coastal area of Fukushima, swiftly evacuated all students before the towering waves engulfed the area. All lives were saved. The school building sustained great damage, but it did not collapse. In the following years, residents asked for the building to be preserved as a testimony of the destructive force of the 2011 tsunami.Ukedo: A Fishing Area With Close Ties to the SeaUkedo Elementary School is located in Namie, a town in the Northern coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture. Today, the school is surrounded by flat fields and construction sites, but not long ago the area was a bubbly district made up of houses by the ocean where families enjoyed sea festivals, sailing, and going to the beach in the warmer months.The 2011 Earthquake and TsunamiStudents at Ukedo Elementary School were attending classes as usual when the earthquake hit on March 11, 2011. A few minutes later, a tsunami warning was issued for the area. The teachers and principals promptly urged everyone to evacuate to Mt. Ohira, located approx. 1.5 km away.A Hasty but Successful EvacuationStudents had no time to take their belongings, or even put on their coats. The cold wind blew strongly as they escaped inland, guided by their teachers.Once they reached the foot of the mountain, one of the students led the group, and everyone climbed to the other side toward safety. They reached a main road, where a truck driver picked them up and took them to an evacuation center.Upon arrival at the center, students and teachers could ascertain that no one was missing or had been left behind. Even though everyone from the school survived, the tragedy brought by the triple disaster changed their lives forever.The Area’s Aftermath & ReconstructionIn Ukedo, the tsunami resulted in the loss of over 120 lives, and many people went missing. A total of 402 houses in the district were destroyed. People’s hometown as they knew it was lost forever.To make matters worse, the area had to be evacuated due to the nuclear accident at the nearby TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This meant that search parties couldn’t enter for weeks; and residents, who initially thought the evacuation would only last a few days, could not fully return home for several years.Once rescue and recovery personnel were allowed back into the area, many houses and buildings started being demolished as part of the decontamination efforts. Devoid of vitality, the wrecked town looked nothing like the cheerful locality it had been only months ago. For about six years, residents had to be granted permission to return, and could only do so for a few hours at a time due to radiation concerns. Knowing that some returning residents may also visit the school on their way to or from their houses, rescue personnel left encouraging messages and wishes for the area’s recovery on the school blackboards. Those who stopped by the school, in turn, replied. Soon, the blackboard was filled with cute drawings and kind interactions between both strangers and lifelong friends. The blackboard and the messages were preserved and are on display at the school today.When the evacuation order for the Ukedo area was lifted in 2017, the Ukedo Elementary School building was one of the few left standing, although it was utterly devastated. With time, more and more people expressed their wish to make the school building a memorial site to pass on the lessons of the tsunami, honor the Ukedo community, and let visitors see firsthand how disaster preparedness can save lives.In October 2021, the school opened for visitors and has since then become one of the flagship facilities where visitors can learn about Fukushima’s recent history and revitalization.After the disaster, a sakura tree began inexplicably growing from the asphalt by one of the old school entrances. The tree blooms beautifully each spring.Flow of the visitYou will begin your visit on the ground floor, with an exhibition showing life in Ukedo before the disaster.Next, you will enter the main school building, where you will grasp the scope of the destruction of the tsunami. You will see what the classrooms, staff rooms, kitchen, dining room, and school gymnasium look like now, alongside photographs showing what they used to look like.After walking in and around the first floor, you will head to the second floor, where you will learn more about the impact of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear accident. There is information about the area, a model of the town, as well as images of the blackboard with support messages.Advice for Visitors Scan the QR code at the entrance to access the English translation of the explanation panels. As you walk inside the school, look for the corresponding number for each panel on the website to read the explanations in English.   When looking at the building from the outside, notice the blue panels showing the height of the tsunami.   Because this area has undergone extensive reconstruction, sometimes car navigation systems cannot accurately guide you to the school. If you notice your car GPS trying to take you down a road that is no longer there, we recommend using your phone navigation system instead, which might be more updated.   There is a toilet and a vending machine at the site, but no convenience stores, supermarkets, or restaurants are nearby, so consider eating or buying snacks before your visit.   After visiting the school, we recommend walking to the Ukedo Port to see what the area looks like today.AccessBy Train, Bus & Bicycle From the JR Futaba Station (JR Joban Line), take the shuttle bus from Futaba Station to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum. Take one of the free rental bicycles at the museum and ride to Ukedo.By Car Approx 1 h 45 min from JR Koriyama Station [郡山駅] via National Road 288. Approx 1 h 29 min from Sendai Station [仙台] via the Joban Expressway. There is a parking lot available at the site.By Train & TaxiAbout 15 min. by taxi from Namie Station [浪江駅] (JR Joban Line). Please note, though, that there are no taxis at the station, so please make your travel arrangements in advance.Useful LinksThe Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie TownFukushima’s Revitalization Educational One-Day TripThe Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial MuseumNamie Roadside Station

    Fukushima’s ‘Miracle’: A Visitor’s Guide to Ukedo Elementary School