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Yavianice posted a topic in Japan Rail: News & General Discussionstill on track to open in March 2020
Last summer (in August 2016) I traveled on the Joban Line between Tokyo and Sendai. Due to the nuclear disaster the part around Namie is closed, between the stations Tatsuta and Odaka. Between these stations runs a very irregular bus service. I have never been to an irradiated zone before, and I must say the experience was quite otherworldly. At first, the area is quite ordinary, just like any rural Japanese community. Until you notice that all the houses and cars are abandoned and overgrown. Eventually, in the heart of the exclusion zone, earthquake and tsunami damage is clearly visible, but the roads and traffic lights are all restored (and in case of the latter, obeyed). All side roads are closed off and guarded. To the north and south of the radiation zone there are many temporary housing buildings and "black bags" full of irradiated debris and soil, along with very many construction sites. I have driven very close to the power plant, though I do not have clear pictures of it. Also, you can only really see the tall chimneys that are next to the exploded reactors, as well as the many power lines that cross the road. Here are some pictures I made of my trip. I have a lot more, but these are the ones that are 'train related'. During my trip I also visited other tsunami hit areas, between Omoto (Sanriku Railway) and Hachinohe, and Sendai - Onagawa. It was astonishing how quickly the Japanese are fixing the area up and clearing away most of the debris. If someone is interested I can upload some more train related pictures of these areas. Tatsuta station, the final station of the trains on the Joban line on the southern border with the exclusion zone. The Tatsuta station building from the bus. The geiger counter is placed just to the right of this picture, along with a big tourist map of the area. The overgrown remnants of the Joban line, between JR Namie and JR Futaba (37°28'25 N, 141°00'26 E) JR Odaka station, the northern border of the exclusion zone, looking south. Train services have only recently been resumed to this station. JR Odaka station building, with a very friendly station manager. Geiger counter next to JR Odaka. The loneliest train in Japan @ JR Odaka, serving the Joban line between JR Odaka and JR Soma (Between Soma and Hama-Yoshida the Joban line was destroyed, though it will be opened again soon for regular service). The inside of the train. Note the lack of advertisements on the walls. JR Sakamoto on the closed section of the Joban line between Soma and Watari station. The original was destroyed in the tsunami, the Joban line has now been constructed on a long viaduct with brand new stations. This section of the Joban line will soon be reopened. EDIT: Added coordinates of the overgrown Joban line picture