Breathing New Life into Iwaki
Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture has been making steady progress in its reconstruction efforts since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck 11 years ago. But catches of seafood have not recovered to pre-disaster levels. Also, the city's mountainous districts have faced rapid depopulation. These days, young people in the city have been taking matters into their own hands. They are working hard to revive communities, driven by their passion to try something new while preserving tradition. On this episode, Ebony Bowens goes up to Iwaki to meet some of these bold individuals.

Usuiso Beach

Usuiso beach, a famous scenic spot in Iwaki, has been selected as one of the top 100 beaches in Japan for its beautiful white sand and translucent waters.

Onsen Shrine

This historic shrine, which was built around 673, enshrines the shinto gods of hot spring water and medicine. Many have long considered the shrine as the guardian of Iwaki Onsen Town.

Tohno Kamikoya

This workshop and shop features Tohno washi, Iwaki's traditional handmade paper. Hirayama Yu, who is originally from the greater Tokyo area, is apprenticing to keep the craft going. Local children drop by to play and draw afterschool. Visitors can try their hand at making washi, but reservations are required.

Access

From Tokyo Station, it takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes by express train to Iwaki. Highway buses connect Tokyo and Iwate in 3 hours and 30 minutes.