Fukushima’s Revitalization Educational One-Day Trip

  • 3 destinations
  • One Day

This is a model itinerary for visitors who would like to learn about Fukushima’s revitalization.

The coastal area of Fukushima is the only place in the world to have survived a triple disaster: an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear disaster. Following extensive decontamination efforts and a great deal of demolition and reconstruction, several areas that were once designated as ‘difficult to return’ have started welcoming both residents and visitors again, with many residents eager to share their stories with the world.

This itinerary centers on the towns of Futaba and Namie, both of which were severely affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011. 

The first stop is Futaba station and the surrounding Futaba Art District, a mural art initiative that pays homage to the residents and folk art of the town.

From there, you’ll visit the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum, which has a detailed account of the area before, during, and after the disaster. At the museum, you’ll learn about the stories and testimonies of locals, as well as the plans and ideas for the future of Fukushima.

The last stop is the remains of the Ukedo Elementary School in Namie town. Although the school building, located only 300 meters from the sea, sustained great damage from the tsunami, students, teachers and staff were able to evacuate from the school safely, for which it is known as a ‘miracle’ school. 

This is a one-day itinerary, but we recommend staying somewhere in the coastal area of Fukushima after your visit.



JR Futaba Station

You can reach Futaba Station from Tokyo Station by train. Take the JR Hitachi Limited Express train bound for Sendai and get off at Futaba Station (3 h, 15 stops).

Futaba Art District

  • Coastal Area

Using the free rental bicycles available at the JR Futaba Station, ride around the area and see the murals of the Futaba Art District. The bicycles work with a 100 yen deposit system (you insert a 100 yen coin at the lock on the handlebar of the bicycle to unlock it, and receive the 100 yen back once you return the bicycle).

Cycle to The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum (the museum is 2 km from Futaba station). Alternatively, take the free shuttle bus to the museum from the station.

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum

  • Coastal Area

Through exhibitions, storytelling, research and interactive displays, visitors can learn about this area before, during and after the disaster, deepen their understanding of the revitalization of Fukushima and the decommissioning of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, as well as listen to testimonies of residents. Please leave the rental bicycle at the designated port at the Futaba Business Incubation and Community Center next to the museum. After visiting the museum, we recommend having lunch at the food court of the Business Incubation Center, which has restaurants and a shop.

Pick up a bicycle and ride from The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum to the The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town (approx. 2.8 km). Alternatively, walking from one place to the other takes approx. 40 minutes.

The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town

  • Coastal Area

Known as Fukushima’s miracle school, Ukedo Elementary School, located 300 meters from the sea, was having classes when the earthquake struck at 2:46 p. m. on March 11, 2011. Although the building sustained great damage from the earthquake and tsunami, all of the students, teachers and staff were able to safely evacuate to a safe place. The building is now preserved as a testimony of the destruction of the 2011 tsunami. We recommend walking from the remains of Ukedo Elementary School to the nearby Ukedo Fishing Port to see what the coast of Fukushima looks like today. You’ll notice a grove with small pines. Many similar forests are planted along the coastal area of Tohoku, in Northern Japan, in order to minimize damage to towns and villages in the case of storms, floods, extreme winds, or tsunamis.

Go back to the JR Futaba Station and return the rental bicycles. Alternatively, walk back to the museum and take the shuttle bus to the station. We recommend staying overnight at the accommodation of your choice in the coastal area of Fukushima.


JR Futaba Station

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