Soil recycling demonstrative project at Iitate, May 21, 2022. 在饭馆村土壤再生证实事业 五月二十一号二〇二二年。飯舘村長泥土壌再生実証 2022年5月21日。

(# Soil recycling, Nagadoro, Iitate, May 21, 2022. #飯舘村長泥土壌再生5/21/2022)
Today I visited soil recycling demonstrative project at Nagadoro, Iitate Village. This is a national project led by Ministry of the Environment aiming at recycling soil generated by decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture. After foreign materials are removed from the original soil, it is measured and confirmed that it is under the radioactivity safety standard (lower than 5,000Bq/kg). The recycled soil is covered with ordinary soil of more than 50cm thick and used. This project at Nagadoro aims at using recycled soil for farmland. A photo above shows pilot greenhouse field growing flowers. Local farmers are cooperative with the program and the current target farming area is 34ha.

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Rice field is also included in the project. A photo above shows a new pilot rice field just been planted three days before.

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The recycled soil is produced at the onsite soil recycling factory. A photo above shows a scene inside the factory. Soil generated by decontamination work is carried into the facility and it produces safe recycled soil for building new farmland.

A photo above shows central monitoring room where all the measurements in the project’s area are monitored including radiation, process and others.

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A photo above shows a new farmland construction site using recycled soil. AI controlled unmanned machinery is used.

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Nagadoro demonstrative project site is located about 30-minute drive south from Iitate Village Hall shown above (upper). The site is located within “difficult to return to zone” as well as “special reconstruction hub area” designated by the national government at this moment. (The area is expecting lifting of evacuation order by next spring.) Ministry of the Environment took us from near the Iitate Village Hall to the site by bus and gave us a tour guide. I took a local bus from JR Fukushima Station to the nearest bus stop “Iitate Fureaikan-mae” shown above (bottom) and walked to the hall (about 40 minutes).

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.

Tomioka Archive Museum, March 16, 2022. 富冈史料博物馆。富岡アーカイブミュージアム2022年3月16日。

(# Tomioka Archive Museum, March 16, 2022. #富岡アーカイブミュージアム 3/16/2022)
Today I visited Tomioka Archive Museum in Tomioka. A photo above shows a police car wrecked by tsunami and washed ashore near the mouth of the Tomioka River at the time of March 11th East Japan Earthquake. Two policemen were killed while doing their duties desperately trying to evacuate people from tsunami.

(# Tomioka Archive Museum, March 16, 2022. #富岡アーカイブミュージアム 3/16/2022)
Tomioka Archive Museum opened in July, 2021. Its aim was to preserve and pass down history and events that the town experienced between Jomon period and today including the March 11th disaster in 2011. Some of the displays today are shown below.

(# Tomioka Dharma, March 16, 2022. #富岡ダルマ 3/16/2022)
A photo above shows Tomioka Dharma dolls. The papier-mache dolls have been made by local workshop and sold at Dharma market on every January 11th until the end of Showa period (around 1980’s).

A miniature town model shown in the picture above shows a part of Tomioka townscape in the middle of Showa period (around 1950’s-1960’s).

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A photo above shows scale model of Oragahama fishing port which was said as the smallest fishing port in Japan. It was created digging a tunnel from inland to the sea.

A photo above shows Jomonware excavated in the town. It is estimated that they are from 4000 years ago which is near the end of mid-Jomon period.

A photo above shows a part of rooftiles excavated at Kobamadai ruins in the town.

The above discovery leads us to imagine there was a temple with pagoda structures in early 8th century as shown in a picture above.

Photo above shows miniature model of JR Tomioka Station before the March 11th disaster. The station was destroyed by tsunami at the disaster.

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Photo above shows current Tomioka Station as of today which was redesigned and rebuilt.

Photo above was a painting made by locals featuring Yonomori cherry blossoms street and Fukushima 50 movie.
写真は地元の方の絵で、夜ノ森の桜通りと、原発事故の対応に当たった50人の映画 Fukushima50を描いています。


On the way walking to the museum from Tomioka Station I found an interesting thing. A bridge over the Tomioka River was decorated with cherry blossoms design as shown in the upper picture above. And manhole lids on roads also had a cherry blossoms design as shown in the bottom picture. This was because cherry tree was an official symbol of the town.

Another important thing I found on the way was a new school of the town as shown above. This was a school building for the town’s new integrated middle and elementary school. The building itself was refurbished based on the former Daiichi Middle School of the town. It is located between the station and Sakura Shopping Mall.

Tomioka Archive Museum is located on a hill about 2.5km from JR Tomioka Station. Tomioka Town Hall square and a hospital are nearby. Bus service is available.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.

Futaba Dharma Market in Iwaki, Jan. 8, 2022. 双葉达磨市在磐城。双葉ダルマ市(いわき)2022年1月8日。

(# Futaba Dharma Market, Iwaki, Jan. 8, 2022. #双葉ダルマ市 いわき 1/8/2022)
Today I visited Futaba Dharma Market in Iwaki. The market has a long history of 300 years since the Edo period. The town of Futaba has been evacuated right after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March, 2011. People of Futaba continued the traditional market at their sheltering place: Iwaki. Because the town is expecting the lifting of evacuation order in June this year, the next year’s event will be held at their hometown. A photo above was a gigantic Dharma doll appeared at the venue.

Tug-of-war event was held with this gigantic Dharma placed in the center and local people divided into east and west groups competed telling the new year’s harvest and businesses according to the results.

Here is a very short 14-sec. video of tug-of-war that gives you the atmosphere on site.

(# Futaba Dharma Market, Iwaki, Jan. 8, 2022. #双葉ダルマ市 いわき 1/8/2022)
Another photo above gives you the festive mood at the venue.

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I purchased a medium-sized Futaba Dharma doll as shown above. The distinctive feature is a blue fringe around the face meaning the Pacific Ocean blue. This market once a year is the only chance to buy this special Dharma. Futaba Dharma dolls are manufactured at Watanabe dharma workshop in Shirakawa.

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The venue of the market today was at the center of Nakoso-Sakai public reconstruction housing complex in Iwaki, where many of the evacuees from Futaba are now living. You can see some of those houses close to the venue in a picture above. Temporary Futaba town office is located close to JR Ueda Station. The town provided free shuttle bus service between the market venue and near the station. I used the service.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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