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Post: Japan: Tourism and Ancestral Heritage for the Revitalization of Fukushima Prefecture


Twelve years after the Fukushima disaster, the people of this region continue to work diligently to revive tourism and preserve ancient traditions.

Surfing back to your peak

Iwasawa Beach, located 20 km from the nuclear power plant, was once considered an international destination for surfers. Quality waves and favorable weather conditions lure surfers home.

Kintaro surfer Yoshida Kintaro is one of them, he grew up near these waves and now runs the sea view guesthouse near the beach. Yoshida, like other entrepreneurs here, hopes to bring surfers back to the region.

In the coming months, water from the nuclear power plant will flow into the Pacific Ocean through the ALBS system, which has alarmed some experts and local residents, but netizens are closely watching the data.

About this process, Kentaro Yoshida says: “To be honest, I have some concerns, however I am not against the decision to release the treated water because the water will be diluted to 1/40 (fiftieth) of the national standard before that date. . They were released and the government has already announced that it will not harm health.

Local surfers are heavily involved in cleaning and restoring the beach. They look forward to a bright future for their favorite spot as Kentaro and his colleagues plan to bring surfing back to its prime. “I want to relive the Naraha Municipal Cup (surfing competition), which took place 25 years before the earthquake,” he explains. Young people, dumping purified water can cause damage to reputation and to avoid it we must pay attention to the fact that the sea is safe.

Preserve the heritage of ancestors

We leave the ocean for the mountains and more precisely for the city of Shirakawa, one of the most affected areas after the Fukushima disaster. Today, the city relies on the heritage of ceramics that originated in the region 350 years ago, called Obor Yasuma Yaki, to attract tourists and revive the economy.

Shinichi Yamada owns one of the workshops here that produces unique parts, Shinichi Yamada’s workshop was only a few kilometers from the nuclear power plant. Like other artisans, he was forced to emigrate and start over, preserving the tradition of his ancestors.

Obure yusuma-yaki pottery is known for its distinctive “blue cracks”. When the oven is opened, the enamel cracks and makes a beautiful sound. That is why it is also known as “lyrical ceramics”.

The disaster that devastated the area increased the population’s attachment after the earthquake, explains Shinichi Yamada: “After the earthquake, I realized how important Obori-soma-yaki is and that it is a treasure for Fukushima Prefecture. I feel this industry should continue into the future.” Some artisans have already returned to the Soma area, while others hope to return soon.

“Contribute to the recovery of Fukushima”

We went to Iwaki Yumoto, one of the oldest hot spring towns in Japan, its hot springs have been boiling for 1300 years. The mineral-rich waters power many of the city’s ryokans. Like Yoshio Satomi’s “Furutakiya” ryokan. The volunteers lived in their shelter during the disaster.

Since then, Yixiu has been working non-stop to revitalize the area and attract visitors, “Tourism’s priority is to attract people, but I don’t want to hide or hide the truth, so if we continue our work, we can naturally build a trusting relationship, and it can reach a stage where you don’t have to use a word. “Common”.

The ryokan is no longer a place to heal the mind and body, but to learn about the resilience of the local Fukushima people and contribute to their efforts. “I came to Iwaki Yumoto to relax because I heard that this hot spring is really good,” says Yamazaki Yoshimi, one of the inmates. “I came to this residency because I want to make a small contribution. Rebuilding Fukushima”.

Source: EuroNews

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