Seaside reconstruction of Shinschi, December 3, 2022. 看新知町的海侧复兴。十二月三号二〇二二年。新地町海側の再建を見る2022年 12月3日。

(#Hill of Feelings, Shinchi, Dec. 3, 2022. #想いの丘 新地12/3/2022)
Today I visited Shinchi Town in the northernmost of coastal Hamadori region. Coastal area of the town was devastated by tsunami at the time of March 11th, 2011 earthquake. The tsunami wave destroyed Shinchi railway station and further came up close to the town office. 1/5th of the town area was inundated and 119 residents became the victims. Photo above shows Hill of Feelings, a memorial monument for the disaster.

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(#Hill of Feelings, Shinchi, Dec. 3, 2022. #想いの丘 新地12/3/2022)
The hill is about 10 meters high, which is estimated as the height of the tsunami. From the photo above you can imagine how high the tsunami wave came from the ocean and assaulted the town.

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A panel shown above explains that a pair of stone pillars of the monument describe people helping each other, and a bell in the center means hope toward future.

The description on a stone shown above explains that there was local graveyard for this district in here but the gravestones and ashes were all washed by the tsunami. They were collected and now are at Ryushoji Temple graveyard 2km away on a higher ground.

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(#Disaster Prevention Park, Shinchi, Dec. 3, 2022. #釣師防災緑地公園 新地12/3/2022)
A large disaster prevention green space park was developed along the coastal area where tsunami hit. Photo above shows the park office in the center.


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(#Disaster Prevention Park, Shinchi, Dec. 3, 2022. #釣師防災緑地公園 新地12/3/2022)
A large-scale disaster prevention forest is under development as shown in the pictures above.

(#Disaster Prevention Park, Shinchi, Dec. 3, 2022. #釣師防災緑地公園 新地12/3/2022)
There are many routes of walkways in the park. One of them is an elevated walkway as shown above. This connects the park center and the upper walkway where you can look out over the ocean, beaches, and fishing ports. A mountain you see beyond the extension of this pathway is Mt. Karo, a landmark of Shinchi. It’s about 4 hours of walking from the station to the summit.

Photo above shows Tsurushihama seaside beach seen from the upper walkway along the coast. The beach was restored from the disaster.

Photo above shows Fukko Flag or revitalization flag at the center of the park.

(#Shinchi Energy Center, Dec. 3, 2022. #新地エネルギーセンター 12/3/2022)
Photo above shows Shinchi Energy Center located 5-minute walk north from the station. This provides electricity, warm and cold waters to the neighborhood area including hotels, public bathhouse, and community center. It generates energy by cogeneration system using LNG and solar power. It also stores electricity using lithium-ion batteries.

Photo above shows the route of providing each energy underneath the ground to each facility.

Photo above shows Shinchi Station of JR Joban Line. This is the northernmost railway station in Hamadori region. Because the former station was completely washed away by the tsunami, this is the new one.

Photo above shows a scale model of the former Shinchi Station before the disaster.

As you leave the station, on your left you can find tourist information center as shown above. They also provide free rental bike if you wish.

And beyond the tourist center building there is a small park area called Kankaido Park. There is a monument for a historic school called Kankaido, the building of which stood there before the disaster. But the historic building was washed away by the tsunami.

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A description board by the monument shown above says that the school was established in 1872, the first ever school in modern Japanese education system. But the school building was much older, it was built in 1769 more than 250 years ago.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with click and scroll. Walking distance today was about 7km.

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.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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