It has been almost a month since a major earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in central Japan on New Year's Day. More than 230 people have been confirmed dead and over 14,000 evacuees are still living in shelters.
Six elderly survivors spent hours travelling on Tuesday from Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture to Katsuyama City in neighboring Fukui Prefecture. They had to leave their evacuation center due to a lack of water. The shelter is among the 40,000 houses and businesses that still do not have a water supply.
A man said, "As long as I have a meal and can go to the restroom, I'll be all right."
Meanwhile, Wajima residents are working to protect their cultural heritage. A float used in the local spring festival was stored at a shrine in Wajima. But the storage building was damaged in the quake. Volunteers came together to get the float out safely.
Those outside the disaster zone are also lending a hand. A workshop in Tokyo is offering free repairs for plates and cups damaged in the quake. They are using a traditional technique known as kintsugi.
They use materials such as lacquer and gold powder to repair the pieces. The powder even comes from Ishikawa Prefecture. A restorer said, "I think it's important to keep these memories as much as possible, so they won't fade away."
The kintsugi restoration work could take up to three months. They are accepting requests from the disaster-hit areas, including Ishikawa.