Tour brings foreigners to areas devastated by nuclear accident via Japan Today

There is growing interest among foreign tourists for a tour in English to former evacuation zones in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima where a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered a nuclear disaster.

“More people are becoming interested in going on the tour that can deepen their knowledge,” explains an official at the Japan National Tourism Organization.


“It’s surprisingly close from Tokyo.” “Are nuclear power plants in Japan active?” Questions and thoughts flew around in various languages.

When personal dosimeters used to record the level of radiation were handed out, Nerious Bartkus, a 28-year-old office worker from Lithuania, pushed the operating buttons uncertainly.

“I am interested in the Chernobyl nuclear accident during the Soviet era and I wanted to visit Fukushima,” he said.

The tourism company Knot World Co based in Tokyo designed this particular tour from a desire to encourage more people to “hear the local voices and see the area’s damage and recovery” after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Since the tour’s launch in February last year, some 200 people from 23 countries have participated, according to the company.


Fukushima Prefecture says 96,000 foreign tourists stayed at hotels and inns in the prefecture in 2017, which is four times the number in 2011. In February this year, an organization that promotes the prefecture’s products and tourism launched a three-day tour with English translation in areas including Naraha, another town in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear plant, to aid recovery.

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