Most people outside of Japan probably don’t know that the leaking Fukushima nuclear reactor, which was damaged in the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, is actually adjacent to several small cities, which were devastated by extreme radiation levels in the wake of the disaster.
The residents fled in a hurry, leaving almost everything they owned behind. Even now, six years later, only one road is officially open to drive nonstop through the area, and the calendars on the walls still say March 2011.
A group of young men led by Bob Thissen, creator of the media company Exploring the Unbeaten Path, sneaked into the still-radioactive cities and made a series of videos of what they saw in the empty and overgrown streets, stores and homes. The episodes are being uploaded to YouTube each week, and you can watch at http://tinyurl.com/XplorePath. A screen shot of an abandoned driving range in one of the episodes is shown.
Renovation is ongoing, and believe it or not, people are slowly returning to the blighted cities around Fukushima. After seeing these videos, however, one can only wonder why.