5 years on from the tsunami

On March 11th 2016, it was exactly five years since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's northern coast. To mark this anniversary, this March at Inside Japan Tours is all about Tohoku: looking back on its troubles, celebrating its charms, and taking stock of how far the region has come in the past five years.

To read all about this beautiful region, including first-hand accounts of the disaster and recovery, visit our dedicated tsunami page:

The Japan Tsunami 5 Years On

Latest News

  • Friday, 23rd September 2016
    In General Japan News,

    Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits south-east of Tokyo

    An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 has been reported in Japan, with its epicentre being to the south-east of Tokyo.

    The tremors were felt at 9.14 on Friday morning (September 23rd), local time, with the US Geological Survey suggesting the quake began at a depth of ten kilometres.

    Originating in a spot 230 kilometres outside of the country’s capital, nine of Japan’s prefectures felt the effects.

    Japan’s weather agency said that slight changes to the sea level could have occurred as a result, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii has not issued notice of large waves.

    The quake began in the Japan Trench, which is found in the North Pacific Ocean, and marks the point where the Pacific, Eurasian and Philippine plates meet.

    Its proximity to the largest of Japan’s islands, Honshu, means there is a constant threat of such activity and there are a number of tremors felt every year.

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  • Thursday, 22nd September 2016
    In General Japan News, General Japan News,

    McDonald's Japan to release pumpkin chocolate fries this autumn

    As autumn draws in, a number of seasonal takes on traditional fast food items are taking over menus and McDonald’s Japan is no different.

    Long being distinguished for adding innovative takes on classics the Japanese arm of the global food giant has done it again.

    This time the twist is to have pumpkin sauce and a chocolate flavoured one drizzled over French fries for an autumnal flavour.

    Those travelling to Japan who are keen to try out the new combination will be able to do so between September 28th and October 31st.

    Whether or not the combination truly appeals to you or you simply feel like trying something new, it’s undeniable that the taste of pumpkin is one associated with Halloween and therefore this time of the year.

    Seeming to be more adventurous than McDonald’s in other parts of the world, the innovators in Japan have dreamt up spooky treats for the autumn before.

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  • Wednesday, 21st September 2016
    In General Japan News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Shoppers to get left-luggage service on Tokyo Metro

    Visitors to Tokyo may find it easier to go shopping with a new service being offered by the city’s Metro system.

    Instead of carrying purchases around all the shops, tourists will be able to leave their bags at a left-luggage office being set up at Ginza Station.

    The operation has been set up by Tokyo Metro Co on a trial basis to see how popular it is and whether the practicalities work, reports the Japan Times.

    As of today (September 21st), shoppers can leave a bag at the counter for 500 yen (£3.80) while they take a lot around other shops.

    The initial trial period will last for just ten days, coming to an end on October 1st, but could be reintroduced if it proves successful.

    It is thought that mainly overseas visitors will use the service, but anyone with something that can’t go into the coin lockers will be able to make use of it.

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  • Tuesday, 20th September 2016
    In General Japan News, General Japan News, General Japan News, Weather In Japan,

    Typhoon Malakas makes landfall in southern Japan

    Southwestern Japan has been hit by a strong typhoon today (September 20th), leading to extreme weather and mass evacuations in this part of the country.

    Typhoon Malakas has brought heavy rain with it, resulting in floods and meaning the local authorities were forced into action.

    Some 600,000 were advised to evacuate and flights into and out of airports in the region were cancelled.

    The typhoon is expected to continue on its north-easterly course, up the Pacific coast towards Tokyo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

    It will then head out into the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of Wednesday morning, experts believe.

    By the time it goes out to sea, it will likely be classified as a depression, a downgrade from typhoon, which should have occurred by 9am tomorrow.

    Among six prefectures where people are being asked to evacuate is Kumamoto, where strong earthquakes hit earlier in the year.

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