Tomioka town to resume festive autumn market after 7-year hiatus

3 June 2017

Tomioka town is set to resume a festive “Ebisuko market,” long familiar to local residents as an autumn tradition, in November after a seven-year hiatus caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The town office revealed this on June 2 at a meeting of the municipal assembly's standing committee on industrial reconstruction.

An executive committee will be set up by parties concerned, led by the town's commerce and industry chamber, to organize the market dedicated to Ebisu or the deity of wealth. It will ask shop operators and others doing business in evacuated places outside Tomioka as well as those who have resumed operations in the town to set up stalls at the market. Among candidate sites are the town’s central shopping street and the parking lot of Sakura Mall Tomioka.

The Ebisuko market used to be held annually in November, with stalls lining a shopping street and organized events such as live music performances and a drum and fife band parade, attracting a large crowd of visitors. But it has been suspended since the disaster. The town is poised to restart the market on the back of the lifting of an evacuation order except for a difficult-return zone. It will seek supplementary budget expenditure of 8 million yen at an assembly session in June to help finance the project.

(Translated by Kyodo News)