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Fukushima Trip, June 18th-19th

We visited Fukushima on the 18th and 19th of June to continue our support activities.

This month, we made our trip with 4 staff members and 1 volunteer.

The weather was mostly sunny, with a light sprinkling of rain in the evening.

We woke up on the morning of the second day to more rain. The heavy downpour made our trip back to Tokyo feel like a carwash!

 

《Fukushima in June》

During our trips, we always stay at non-profit organization Hanamiyama wo Mamoru Kai (Committee to Protect Hanamiyama)’s main office. In June, we can see fireflies close by.

After finishing our thermotherapy activities, we went to see the fireflies around 10PM. They were floating above the river and looked beautiful!

The next morning, we took a walk through Hanamiyama Park. The bush warblers were chirping, and the trees were sparkling with dew. There were lotus flowers blooming in the pond.

 

   

 

 

 

《Thermotherapy activities》

On Day 1, we visited Ōmika Lifelong Learning Center and the Omachihigashi Public Restoration Housing in Minamisōma City. Then we travelled to Fukushima City and visited the children’s facility Rainbow House.

We are always greeted warmly at Omachihigashi Public Restoration Housing. It is a joy to listen to the residents talking to each other excitedly about their day.

Here is our volunteer member Chiaki, hard at work.

 

On Day 2, we visited the headquarters of Hanamiyama wo Mamoru Kai, the children’s facility Rainbow House, Iinomachi Community Center, and Minna no Ie Second, an activity center for Fukushima returnees.

 

At Iinomachi Community Center, members of the eco-crafting club were making “basket bags” out of strips of paper. They kept working while they waited for their thermotherapy sessions.

 

   

 

 

 

One individual told us they were woken up by an earthquake (seismic intensity level 4) the previous night and couldn’t sleep afterwards. Another individual told us her child was still afraid of earthquakes, having experienced the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake when they were just 2 years old.

It seems that the aftereffects of the earthquake are still being felt today.

 

《Fukushima and recovery efforts》

On our way from Minamisōma to Fukushima City, we pass by Iitate Village. Many bulk bags full of contaminated soil sit in idle fields (pictured below). 8 years later, Fukushima still continues its recovery efforts.

 

   

 

 

 

《Thermotherapy participants》

Day 1: 23 people (3 at Ōmika Lifelong Learning Center, 11 at Omachihigashi Public Restoration Housing, 9 at Rainbow House)

Day 2: 31 people (16 at Hanamiyama wo Mamoru Kai, 4 at Iinomachi Community Center, 11 at Minna no Ie Second)

 

Our next trip to Fukushima will take place on July 9th and 10th.

 

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