Flower garden opens in Fukushima village as part of reconstruction project

A flower garden opened on April 20 in part of idled farmland in the Fukushima Prefecture village of Iitate. The "Tulip/Flower Farm" is located in the village's Sasu district, where an evacuation order was issued after the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. Standing in an area about 3.8 hectares wide, the garden has some 250,000 stalks of flowers of 46 varieties. It is open to the public until May 9. The farm is part of a "flower garden project for Iitate village farmland regeneration," jointly undertaken by three entities -- nonprofit Fukushima Mirai Kenkyu-kai (Fukusima's future study association), Hokusho construction company, both in Fukushima city, and Chiiki Sozo Kenkyu-sho (community creation research institute) in Iitate. An opening ceremony was held at the garden on the day, with speeches delivered by Fukushima Mirai Kenkyu-kai head Katsumi Sato and other officials. Visitors to the garden, situated on an intermountain slope, enjoyed viewing a broad array of colorful flowers. Admission is free. The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Translated by Kyodo News)