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It was March 11th, 2011 in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan. The day an earthquake rocked, a tsunami engulfed, and a nuclear power plant went into meltdown.

I am an explorer of the abandoned world. I search for remnants of what we leave behind when we relegate things to decay. I have explored many locations with sad tales and dark histories. I experience a wide range of emotions when I explore forgotten places, as I attempt to document the forgotten world. I immerse myself in the story of each location, in an attempt to present photos with context. Sometimes this is a happy partnership, other times it may uncover a painful past.

Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming emotions I felt when I visited the disaster-stricken Fukushima region of Japan in 2019. Even a decade after the incident, the area bears the scars of that day.

I would like to share one story with you, that affected me the most. Of the several places I explored in Fukushima, there is one that sticks in my mind.

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#1

The Chevrolet Impala Ss Looks Like It Would Still Run If The Owner Ever Returns

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As I stood in an abandoned school gym, I could see the Pacific Ocean only a few hundred meters away. Beautiful and calm when I visited. On March 11th, 2011 the staff made a brave decision. As the tsunami warning sirens sounded, protocol dictated they remain inside. The tsunami wall should protect them, or so it was thought. For some reason, perhaps some intuition, the staff decided instead to evacuate. Their decision undoubtedly saved the lives of the 82 students and all 15 staff members. On this day, the tsunami breached the seawall and struck the school.

I could not help but think that many other schools did not escape the unstoppable tsunami, that many more stories had a much more tragic end.

#2

Everywhere You Can See Nature Swallowing Houses And Vehicles, The Things Left Behind When The People Fled

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#3

The School Stands Only A Few Hundred Meters From The Sea Front. The Floor Of The Sports Hall Has Collapsed In The Decade Since It Was Abandoned

The School Stands Only A Few Hundred Meters From The Sea Front. The Floor Of The Sports Hall Has Collapsed In The Decade Since It Was Abandoned Shares stats

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#4

Although Most Of The Supermarket Is Dark, A Long Skylight Illuminates The Front Of The Store

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#5

This Arcade Is Now Dark And Empty, With Coin Trays And Paper Littering The Floor

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kevin-donegan avatar
Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wonder if there arcade machines are filled with money still? It took me a second to figure out why the blue plastic containers were there.

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#6

A Japanese Funeral Car, Called A Reikyūsha, Lays Forgotten On An Old Dealership Forecourt

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#8

The Air Inside This Abandoned Supermarket Was Musty And Stale

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Glory The Rainwing
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! STOP SAYIN "i'M cOvErInG a CoMmEnT"! WE WILL LOOK ANYWAY!

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#9

Products And Litter Cover The Floor, The Piles Reach Knee-Height In Some Areas

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#11

Abandoned Shops Are Everywhere, And It Is Forbidden To Approach Them

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#12

Everything On The Shelves Is Covered With Layers Of Dust And Grime

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#13

Another Abandoned Pachinko Hall That I Explored In Fukushima

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Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But someone removed the games in this one (or they weren't installed yet). That fact along with the packaged items in the corner there make me wonder if it was actually in operation when the disaster struck.

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#14

Sweets And Snacks Still Line The Shelves And Racks, Long Passed Their Sell-By Dates

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#15

This Abandoned School Was Evacuated Shortly Before The Tsunami Hit, Everyone Escapes Unharmed

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#16

This Abandoned Pachinko Hall Would Once Have Been A Hive Of Activity. Pachinko Is A Popular Japanese Arcade Game

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#17

Tarmac Is Cracked And Weeds Grow Everywhere At This Abandoned Car Dealership

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M O'Connell
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Was this a specialist import dealer? Because they have an extremely eclectic assortment of US-market vehicles.

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#18

As Re-Inhabitation Of Fukushima Begins, Perhaps These Gaming Halls Will Come Back To Life Once More

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Andrew
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Chernobyl was a freaking wasteland because the Soviets tried to hide the disaster instead of asking the international community for help, like the Japanese did at Fukushima.

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