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

  • Wednesday, 26th October 2016
    In Events In Japan,

    Professional shogi world rocked by cheating accusations

    You may be forgiven for not knowing what shogi is, but in Japan, the variation of chess is a pretty big deal. That’s why shock waves have been sent through the country after a top-ranked player was suspended from an important tournament.

    Hiroyuki Miura was due to face Akira Watanabe in the Ryuo Championship earlier this month when the Japan Shogi Association stepped in. On October 12th, just three days before the competition was due to start, it accused Miura of cheating.

    The accusation suggested that the player could have been assisted by software to ensure he won his games. Despite such a serious claim, no hard evidence has been brought forward since Miura was prevented from playing in the seven-game tournament and people have started to question the investigation process.

    Miura is the holder of the ninth dan, the highest ranking position in the world today. He was going to come up against Watanabe, the title holder for the Ryuo Championship in what was expected to be an exciting face-to-face.

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  • Tuesday, 25th October 2016
    In Events In Japan, Events In Japan,

    Tokyo Police to create pedestrian zone for Halloween

    The Shibuya district of Tokyo is a popular area to celebrate Halloween and the local police have announced plans to create a pedestrian zone outside the train station to ease crowds.

    Last year, the force had difficulties coping with the influx of costume-clad revellers around the area of the famous Scramble Crossing, leading to disruptions in traffic flow.

    This year, the space directly outside Shibuya Station, adjacent to the famous section of road, will be made into a pedestrian zone.

    The move should mean that those heading out on the evenings between October 28th and 31st should find it easier to get to their destination.

    Shibuya’s famous crossing has become iconic due to the fact that all of the lights at this busy junction turn red at the same time, bringing all vehicles to a standstill.

    Among the problems at Halloween is that often those without a specific event planned will hang out near the crossing taking pictures and causing congestion.

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  • Monday, 24th October 2016
    In Events In Japan, Events In Japan, Japan Sports News,

    Junko Tabei, pioneering Japanese mountain climber, dies at 77

    Junk Tabei, the first woman to climb Everest, has died of cancer aged 77 in Saitama, after a lifetime of scaling peaks across the world.

    The Japanese mountaineer defied the expectations of women in her culture and climbed the highest mountains in more than 70 countries.

    She summited the world’s tallest peak in May 1975 and by 1992, she had ticked off the six next highest ascents across the globe.

    Tabei was diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen in 2012 and died on Thursday (October 20th) in hospital.

    Despite her illness, she completed her last climb in July, as she accompanied survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    They made it to the top of Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan and a famous symbol of the country throughout the world.

    She was originally from Fukushima Prefecture, making the disaster that rocked the region a cause close to her heart.

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  • Friday, 21st October 2016
    In Events In Japan, Events In Japan, Japan Sports News, General Japan News,

    Japan rocked by magnitude 6.6 earthquake

    Western Japan has been hit by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake, early reports suggest, with the Meteorological Agency saying there is no tsunami warning.

    The event occurred at 2.10pm local time today (October 21st), which equates to 5.10am GMT and was centred in the Tottori Prefecture.

    Some 430 miles from Tokyo, the inland trembler originated at a depth of six miles underground, but was strongly felt in both Kyoto and Osaka, which lie a considerable distance away.

    Reports from local official speaking to the public broadcaster NHK suggest that the town of Yurihama had seen a house collapse and fires had broken out elsewhere in the prefecture.

    Seven emergency calls to the fire department in Kurayoshi City to assist with injuries were also reported.

    Suminori Sakinada, a local government official, told Agence France Presse (AFP): "We felt fairly strong jolts, which I think were the biggest in years, but we have not seen any damage or things falling."

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