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“The real story of the Fukushima 2011 disaster”
Review of Real Fukushima

Real Fukushima
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Minamisoma
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Come and see today's Fukushima and about nuclear accident. Our standard tour takes you into the current exclusion zone in Futaba and Okuma towns with an official permission, which is a special offer from Real Fukushima, as well as the surrounding areas in Odaka, Namie and Tomioka towns where the evacuation orders have been lifted recently and people are gradually coming back to their home town. The total amount of the radiation exposure through the tour is around 3-5 micro Sievert. You may also encounter and talk to local people who have returned to this area after the 5-6 year evacuation. Our English guide will help you to discover this area, by showing the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and the evacuation by the explosions of Fukushima Daichi Power Plant in 2011 as well as the ongoing projects and positive movements and hopes to this area for the restoration and recreation. Feel the atmosphere and have first hand experience in this triple disaster area with your own eyes!
Reviewed November 11, 2018

In 2011, march 11, a magnitude 9 earthquake followed by a 15 meter high tsunami hit the north east coast of Japan. The Fukushima Daiihci nuclear power plant was damaged by the tsunami and radioactive material leaked into the surrounding environment. The area around the power plant was thus struck by a triple disaster, causing widespread suffering and distress for the local inhabitants.

The tour gives the story of this catastrophe, told by a guide living in the local community. It is a story which is both interesting, sad and moving but also with a bit of optimism. I have attended many guided tours, many forgotten, but his one I know I will never forget.

To see the empty site of a fishing community, which contained four hundred houses before the tsunami hit, was very moving. Only the remnants of a single house, the local school and the graveyard was left.

Four citys with something like 80000 inhabitants were evacuated because of radiation danger, today less than 10% has moved back. To actually see some of these ”ghost towns” with empty houses and empty streets makes you understand the harsh reality of this disaster and how deeply it has affected the population in this area.

We were also able to visit the still closed area around the nuclear power plant, and saw houses, cars, restaurants and a home for the elderly left just as it was on the day of the disaster. Also to see several enormous storage sites for soil contaminated by radioactivity is not something easily forgotten. But there is a bit of optimism also, local railway stations have been reopened and in some of the cities there is activity and an increase in the population.

I can highly recommend this tour. The guide, being a local, has expert knowledge of the area and events and is very good at communicating in an informal and easy way.
The tour gives, in my opinion, an unsentimental and true story of what happened in Fukushima and how it affected people living there. As such it is an important part of contemporary history, not only for Japan, but for the rest of the world as well.

Date of experience: November 2018
3  Thank Discover379039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 17 of 19 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
2  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.
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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.

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