Photography, Music, Fractal Art

Silent Summer: a ghost town in Fukushima

The town of Tomioka lies directly between the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants. It was evacuated soon after the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, and remains abandoned today. Recently the exclusion zone surrounding Fukushima Daiichi was reduced in size. Half of Tomioka now sits in a voluntary evacuation zone; residents are allowed to enter freely but only during daylight hours until 3:00 pm. The town stands frozen in time, looking much the same as it did the moment the tsunami swept in with its twenty-five meter waves. I came here first illegally in 2012 to film a documentary, returning legally twice in early 2013. What I saw both chilled and fascinated me, and I knew that I had to try to document the sights that touched me so deeply. With the kind help of a Tomioka resident, I was able to return in July of 2013 and spent five hours taking the pictures you see here.


  1. Himanshi
    2017/04/05 @ 13:08

    Dear Toby,

    Your photos are absolutely stunning and gives an visual reference of the life in that region.
    I am currently volunteering at an animal shelter in Fukushima and would love to go to Tomioka, preferably with someone that’s familiar with the area. Do you happen to know anyone who can help me with the same?


    • tobylog1
      2017/06/06 @ 01:18

      At the moment Tomioka is open, so you don’t need a resident to accompany you. I don’t know anyone at the moment who could accompany you, but be warned that the last time I was there (about two months ago) they had torn down everything near the train station and are building furiously, so everything I documented is gone. I send you kudos for working in an animal shelter! So many displaced, and not only humans.


Leave a Reply