Tohoku Update

Find out how northeastern Japan and its people are recovering from and overcoming the triple disasters of 3.11

Tohoku Update | Time Out Tokyo
The 'Miracle Pine' of Rikuzentakata

On March 11 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Japan, setting off a tsunami that swept inland, wiping out villages and towns, killing up to 18,000 people, displacing hundreds of thousands more and disabling the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was the world’s fifth-strongest earthquake this century, and the most powerful ever on record in Japan. Known as 3.11, this catastrophe left the northeastern region of Tohoku devastated, but it also inspired a worldwide relief effort and a new spirit of volunteerism both in Japan and beyond. 

With new articles published every three months or so since autumn 2013, our Tohoku Update series documents the region's recovery efforts, the contributions of a diverse cast of volunteers, and some of the countless new initiatives and projects set up by the people of Tohoku in the years after 3.11. Check out the full list below, and keep checking back for updates every now and then.

Tidings from Tohoku

Run a good race
Sport and fitness

Run a good race

Thousands will descend on Tohoku this year to run, ride and experience local hospitality, while contributing to the regeneration of this earthquake-stricken region

Shelter from the storm
Things to do

Shelter from the storm

Internationally acclaimed architect Shigeru Ban explains why humanitarian aid is his most meaningful pursuit

Running spirit
Things to do

Running spirit

Thousands will descend on Tome this March to not only compete in a scenic marathon, but also to experience local food and sake

A change of art
Art

A change of art

How a new arts festival is aiming to become a symbol of recovery from the triple disasters of 2011

Winds of change
Things to do

Winds of change

How renewable energy is revolutionising Tohoku and offering an alternative to nuclear

Hope swings
Things to do

Hope swings

One Tokyo non-profit is bringing the sound of laughter back to disaster areas

Helping hands
Travel

Helping hands

We visited Miyagi to see how charity Hands On Tokyo is helping the area to rebuild after the triple disaster of 2011

Pitching in
Sport and fitness

Pitching in

Nick Narigon talks to former rugby great Jiro Ishiyama about how the sport can help

Rising up again in northeastern Japan
Travel

Rising up again in northeastern Japan

Stories of survival are everywhere in this once devastated region

Island-hopping and people-watching in Miyagi
Travel

Island-hopping and people-watching in Miyagi

It’s postcard-beauty by day, buzzy neon by night in one of Tohoku’s most scenic regions

Sea life and hula on Japan’s north coast
Travel

Sea life and hula on Japan’s north coast

Five years after the tsunami, Iwaki is open for business – and good times

Following the samurai in western Fukushima
Travel

Following the samurai in western Fukushima

Our four-part journey through Tohoku kicks off in Aizu, a place of big history and big flavours

Picking up the pieces
Things to do

Picking up the pieces

The Nozomi Project transforms broken pottery left in the wake of the 2011 tsunami into beautiful items of jewellery

New learning for a new future
Things to do

New learning for a new future

This centre in Ogatsu aims to build awareness and offer interactive learning for children affected by 3.11

Change begins with a cardigan
Things to do

Change begins with a cardigan

How knitting is helping the people of Kesennuma rebuild their dignity

Creative giving
Things to do

Creative giving

How Tohoku Artist Caravan is putting the colour back into Karakuwa

Fukushima's clean-up crisis
Things to do

Fukushima's clean-up crisis

As Iitate's land gets dug out and cleared to reduce radiation levels, evacuees are still left wondering if decontamination efforts will be enough

Get your hands dirty
Things to do

Get your hands dirty

As a volunteer for one of the charity organisations who continue to help those in need after 3.11

Looking for the light
Things to do

Looking for the light

We profile some of the people taking positive steps for those affected by March 2011's earthquake and tsunami

The battle for life
Things to do

The battle for life

Volunteers in Fukushima continue the desperate struggle to save abandoned pets

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