Japan is undeniably a beautiful country. However, many drastic changes happened when a massive tsunami hit the country in 2011.
Seven years after the catastrophic event, Japan has recuperated very well. Now, a number of its beaches have been reopened to the public since it closed down because of the tsunami. Families all over the country are rushing to the coast to seek relief for the scorching summer heat.
Calamities That Caused The Closing
The beaches that closed down are located on the country's northeastern coast. The tsunami happened following the most intense earthquake that hit Japan and caused tons of damage to the country's coastal areas. The disaster's 30-foot waves also became the reason for a nuclear accident after crashing into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a meltdown.
Although no one died from radiation, countless people were forced to evacuate their homes because of it. The disaster took the lives of about 20,00 people, left a shocking 1.5 million tons of debris in the Pacific Ocean, and a staggering $300 billion material damage.
Now, Japanese authorities have found out that the Haragamaobama beach, located just 25 miles from the nuclear plants finally has a safe radioactive level. Furthermore, officials have removed debris and have done rebuilding work on the area's surrounding banks.
Bright Future For Japan's Beaches
Japanese officials are hoping that the beach's opening will help change people's perception of the region, which has been immensely linked to the devastation.
Secretary General of the Soma Tourism Association Hiroyuki Ito said that the news is truly something to be grateful of because Soma has always been associated with the ocean before the disaster happened.
Nami Aoki, 48, from the city of Fukushima, was delighted with finally having access to the beach in her hometown of Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, with her 9-year-old daughter. She said that she is very ecstatic to finally see people on the beach again. She has always wanted to see her daughter play in the area where she played in when she was still a little girl.
The beach regularly has 30,000 to 50,000 visitors per season before the disaster swamped the area, triggering the triple core meltdown of the power plant.
Haragamaobama is the fourth beach in Fukushima's 18 pristine beaches to reopen to the people after the tragedy.
In its neighboring town Miyagi Prefecture, Watanoha beach has also been reopened for the first time since 2011, though in a different place. The giant waves from the tsunami has moved the sands from the beach 700 meters off its original area.