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Monday, November 21, 2011

Fearing Not

I know of certain bloggers here in Taiwan who might like to eat and drink at this establishment ;-)

From yesterday's (Sunday's) edition of the Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ comes this Kyōdō News 共同通信社 news story:

TAIWAN PLANE BRINGS TOURISTS BACK TO FUKUSHIMA
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111120a3.html

A TransAsia Airways 復興航空 chartered flight with 180 tourists on board landed at Fukushima Airport 福島空港 Saturday morning, the first international flight to arrive since March 11, giving the region's badly-hit tourism industry a much needed lift.

The tourists are participating in a four-day tour organized by several travel agencies in Taiwan, and will visit sites mainly around the prefecture's scenic Aizu 会津 region.

The airport's regular services to Seoul and Shanghai remain suspended because of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant 福島第一原子力発電所.

To reverse the plunging number of foreign visitors to Fukushima 福島県, the prefecture has been running promotional campaigns in Taiwan, as well as in China and South Korea.

The chartered plane will carry Japanese tourists to Taiwan on its return flight.

Operations at the airport, about 50 km (30 miles) inland from the prefecture's coast, were not affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami 東日本大震災.

Taiwan's airlines have started operating chartered flights to Fukushima Prefecture in recent years.

It certainly is encouraging to see the Tōhoku region 東北地方 slowly getting back on its feet. It will take time, but eventually all the debris will be carted off, transportation links will be resumed (though some damaged train lines may be converted into exclusive bus lanes - see this Yomiuri Shimbun 読売新聞 article from today's Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売  and, yes, the damaged nuclear reactors will be achieve cold shutdown. Visitors are gradually making their way back to the area, though for the residents who suffered through that terrible day and its aftermath, the emotional scars may never heal. Before March 11, I had been thinking about visiting Tōhoku at some point in 2012, and despite all that has happened, I see no reason for changing my plans. Sightseeing spots such as Hiraizumi 平泉 and the Tōno 遠野 Valley appear to have emerged relatively unscathed from the disaster, while I'm confident that Sendai 仙台, the region's hub, will quickly recover much as Kōbe 神戸 did in the aftermath of the Great Hanshin earthquake 阪神・淡路大震災. The one alteration to my plans would probably have to be Kinkazan 金華山. I haven't heard anything about the state of the island itself, but I do know that the city of Ishinomaki 石巻 and the town of Ayukawa 鮎川, the two main transportation points to Kinkazan, were devastated by the tsunami.
 
 A new store in Fengyuan (Fēng​yuán) 豐原 selling old clothing for old women.


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