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Review Highlights
From disaster to hope

Very organized and well prepared. Meeting individual needs, good background... read more

Reviewed November 7, 2020
Minato, Japan
via mobile
Amazing Experience

I really enjoyed this tour. The sites, stories and the privileged access to see first hand the... read more

Reviewed September 10, 2019
Steve K
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18 - 23 of 24 reviews
Reviewed November 9, 2018 via mobile

I was fortunate enough to join a small tour on a day trip from Tokyo. Karin Tara met me at the local station and I was taken to her home for tea before we headed out for the tour. The whole day was absolutely fascinating, unsettling and an honour, all rolled into one. We saw some unique sites and met some inspiring people along the way. If you want to understand what happened at Fukushima from a human perspective, this is an unmissable opportunity.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank redwineLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2018 via mobile

Something we wanted to do 2 years ago but didn’t know where to start. Karin, may partner and I took a road trip around the prefecture which was delivered more than we could have hoped for by way of the sites we were permitted to visit access, while maintaining respect and dignity for the are and the people there, both those who passed away and those who remain.

It would have been very easy for Karin to make this a dramatized disaster-fest, but the tour is about providing information and not a sensationalized view. Some tours, and even tv programs that have aired try to paint a picture of a Fukushima that is a dystopian post-apocalyptic hell-scape in order to excite outrage and free. Some areas, including those which ‘the real fukushima’ has special access to, are indeed dangerously high in radiation and you can’t stay there too long. However, seeing ALL the areas where people are returning and the vast efforts the government and community are undertaking to return as much of the prefecture as possible to a thriving rural locality is inspiring.

A visit to one building, manned by volunteers and funded by the companies responsible for the decontamination shoes is thousands of personal objects found during the cleanup to date. The goal is that relatives can identify photos, trinkets, children’s toys and other items to help give them some closure for the loss of family and possessions. Be ready to to have a few moments of watery eyes when the reality of the situation is undeniable, but also to be lifted by the underlying commitment to making things better, which is shared by by people on all sides of the contentious issues at the center of this place and what it has come to mean to all involved.

Definitely recommend staying overnight in Odaka (yes, you can stay there).This is well outside the exclusion zone and Karin has a lovely bed and breakfast, or there is an inn you might consider as well. Several small businesses popping up, including a sushi restaurant and coffee/tea house near by, with a small supermarket due to open in December.

Only regret is we didn’t know we could stay overnight and so we could have enjoyed more of what Odaka has to offer. Right now a very quaint little part of Japan that is only now, after unimaginable disaster starting to receiving international visitors. With approximately 25% of its pre-tsunami population, it is truly a unique time and place in history to see and experience.

Definitely the highlight of our visit to Japan and we are already talking about visiting again in a year or so to see the next chapter for the prefecture.

Like nothing else we’ve seen up close and still unsettlingly close to home.

The train trip from Tokyo is a long one but if you stay overnight in Odaka it would make the trip even more worthwhile.

I am truly glad to have this experience in my lifetime and to have been guided by such a truly beautiful person as Karin.

Now stop thinking about it and make the booking.

Date of experience: November 2018
3  Thank alexbG2989DI
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2018 via mobile

The official tour of Fukushima exclusion zone and around. This is as real as you can get to see what actually is happening inside the area years after the earthquake strucked.
The tour provides details and information of what had happened, what is happening now in the area.
The tour took 4-5 hours, during that time you will be exposed to certain degree of radio activity area. In which is not dangerous at all.
If you have seen Dark tourist, and interested in coming to see the area by yourself, don’t be afraid nothing as dramatic as in the show. This is the real thing, real fact, real lives, Real Fukushima.

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Kritakorn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2018

I spent 18 days in Japan in September 2018. My main aim was to see my daughter who is living in Tokyo.

My visit to the restricted area in Fukushima has had a deep and lasting impact on me, my husband and my daughter. My daughter captured the feelings well and posted this on her facebook page: "Our visit to the exclusion zone was at turns contemplative and haunting and beautiful. I felt like I couldn't draw good for weeks after because I had seen and felt things that I didn't know how to process and capture..." (she is an amazing artist so for her to be art to be silenced was quite a thing)

For me, I felt blessed to be allowed to see what has been left behind after the tragic events in 2011. While I was aware of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown I had no idea of the devastation that the community suffered and continues to suffer. Seeing abandoned schools, aged care homes complete with staff cars rusting away and the remnants of houses that are currently being destroyed because the owners have made a new life elsewhere tore at my heart.

Our hostess Karin was extremely knowledgeable and had amazing English. She was able to convey some of the depth of grief that the residents experienced but also to point out the seeds of a new community emerging. We had a fabulous meal in Odaka and even got to sing along with the owners and a visiting monk. Another deep and lasting impression.

If you get a chance you MUST take a tour with Real Fukushima and a stay at The Lantern House is also highly recommended.

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Nora R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2018

There has been a lot of media in this area, especially the red zone and we wanted to understand more about the disaster, what happened, how the community is repairing and what are the challenges. So it was excellent to find Real Fukushima tour. It is like being in our own documentary with real facts and up to date information. Our guide has lived in this area all his life and his knowledge, passion and scientific explanations were invaluable. It is impossible to describe the area, especially the red zone, and how people have been affected and the extent and scale of the disaster. It is a humbling experience and I recommend that it is a must do to really appreciate what happened and now the cleanup and ongoing issues and successes are happening in Fukushima. Thank you, this tour is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank Donna V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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