A year on, Tohoku stuck in limbo via The Japan Times

HIRONO, Fukushima Pref. — Located roughly 23 km from Fukushima’s crippled nuclear plant, Hirono Station today is the northernmost stop on the JR Joban Line for passengers traveling up Tohoku’s coast from Tokyo.

The exclusion zone around the Fukushima No. 1 plant begins just 3 km farther up the tracks. Before the nuclear disaster, trains continued past Hirono, traveling about 2.5 km west of the wrecked facility and all the way on to Sendai.

But Hirono has since turned into a nuclear crisis frontier town, and appears a fitting place to observe Japan’s recovery from last March’s quake and tsunami on the first anniversary Sunday.

One year on, however, the once bustling town remains eerily quiet and a revival seems a long way off, and by no means certain.

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