Tomioka, Fukushima

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Tomioka
富岡町
Abandoned city
Central Tomioka, February 2011
Central Tomioka, February 2011
Location of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture
Tomioka is located in Japan
Tomioka
Tomioka
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 37°19′59″N 141°01′01″E / 37.33306°N 141.01694°E / 37.33306; 141.01694Coordinates: 37°19′59″N 141°01′01″E / 37.33306°N 141.01694°E / 37.33306; 141.01694
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Fukushima Prefecture
District Futaba
Government
 • Mayor Katsuya Endou
Area
 • Total 68.47 km2 (26.44 sq mi)
Population (January 2012)
 • Total 1
 • Density 0.015/km2 (0.038/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Website www.tomioka-town.org

Tomioka (富岡町 Tomioka-machi?) is an abandoned city located in Futaba District, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

As of 31 January 2011, the town had an estimated population of 15,839, with 6,293 households.[1] The total area is 68.47 km2 (26.44 sq mi). The town is famous for having one of the longest cherry blossom tunnels in Japan. It has a friendship agreement with Auckland, New Zealand, and a New Zealand teacher was sent to Tomioka each year to teach at the Junior and Elementary schools. Tomioka is the location for the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

The town of Tomioka is divided into two main districts, each with their own train station. To the south is Tomioka, which is the main area. To the north, on top of the hill, is Yonomori, a smaller and much newer neighborhood. Though the two areas operate under one government, physical distance makes them feel like two separate towns.

Tomioka was adversely affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Besides sustaining considerable damage from the tsunami (which devastated the coastal area) and earthquake, the town was evacuated en masse on the morning of March 12 once the nuclear situation became clear. As it is well within the 20 kilometer radius around the damaged power plant, residents are not allowed to return at the present time. Only one man, 54–55-year-old fifth-generation rice farmer Naoto Matsumura, with his dog, lives there, feeding the pets and livestock left behind in his neighborhood with supplies donated by support groups.[2][3][4] On March 25, 2013, the nuclear evacuation zone in Tomioka was revised. Japanese authorities decided to set three different zones according to different levels of radiation.

Landmarks[edit]

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant[edit]

The Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located on a 1,500,000-square-metre (370-acre) site straddling Tomioka and Naraha, run by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). After the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the four reactors automatically shut down.[5]

Hayama shrine[edit]

The main shrine in Tomioka is Hayama shrine where a fire festival was held to pray for a good harvest. The shrine is known as "Number 33, the thirty-third shrine in a pilgrimage path which goes across the country.

Tomioka government office complex[edit]

This complex consisted of three buildings connected by walkways and a mini park. The center building was home to the city government offices. On the left side of the complex is a building that used to house a large auditorium and the city's public library. The right side of the complex featured a small health center. The whole complex is located just north of where the Joban train line crosses Route 6 and is across the highway from the Tomioka Sports Center.

Yonomori Park[edit]

This park was very popular in spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Many locals came to view the blossoms in the park and enjoy the festival atmosphere. During the Cherry Blossom Festival, there were many food, trinket, and game stalls.

Tomioka Sports Center[edit]

Located between Route 6 and the ocean, this sports center contained multiple tennis courts and a baseball field, among other attractions. The facilities could be rented by the hour for a very reasonable price. Some local sports clubs met here.

Refre[edit]

Located at the intersection of the two roads with cherry blossom tunnels, Refre (リフレ) was a popular meeting place. Its facilities include a conference room with seating and catering for hundreds of people, a hotel, a fitness center, a hot spring, one indoor heated pool for lap swimming, and one indoor/outdoor pool for general use, though the second pool is closed during the winter months.

Tomioka Beach[edit]

During the summer months leading up to Obon, a beach was open for public swimming. After Obon, however, the beach was closed due to the large population of jellyfish. The beach is a short distance from Tomioka station.

Activities[edit]

Hot springs[edit]

Several hot springs are located within the town limits: Refre and Iwaidonoyu.

Yonomori Sakura Festival[edit]

The town was famous for the Sakura Festival in Yonomari, held on early April.

Schools[edit]

High schools[edit]

Tomioka, Fukushima Prefectural HighSchool (founded in 1950) is the only high school in the town.[6]

Junior high schools[edit]

There were two junior high schools in Tomioka - Tomioka 1st Junior High School and Tomioka 2nd Junior High School.

Elementary schools[edit]

There were two elementary schools in Tomioka - Tomioka 1st Elementary School and Tomioka 2nd Elementary School.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome to Tomioka" (in Japanese). Japan: Tomioka Town. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Lah, Kyung (27 January 2012). "Resident defiant in Japan's exclusion zone". CNN. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Lone farmer in no-go zone sticks to defiant existence". The Japan Times. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Kosuga, Tomo (11 March 2013). "Radioactive Man". Vice. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Japan initiates emergency protocol after earthquake". Nuclear Engineering International. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  6. ^ 富岡高等学校について (in Japanese). Tomioka, Fukushima Prefectural High School. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 

External links[edit]