Tsunami-hit beach in Soma city opens for first time in 8 years

22 July 2018

Haragamaobama beach in Soma city, Fukushima Prefecture, reopened to swimmers on July 21 after an eight-year hiatus since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Many people from within and outside the prefecture visited the leading bathing spot in the northern Hamadori region on the Pacific coast, bringing a bustle back to the beach.

As the day marked the start of the school summer vacation, the beach was full of family sea-goers. Benefitting from perfect weather for swimming, children and other young bathers were shouting for joy on the shoreline.

The “Soma Hama-matsuri” (Soma beach festival) was held by an executive committee comprising local parties, including the Soma Junior Chamber and the youth segment of the Soma Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It included a variety of beach events and live stage performances.

The beach had been closed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Its reopening followed completion of reconstruction work on the shoreline and levees, among other facilities. The beach will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until Aug. 19. There are six beach shops and restaurants in operation.

(Translated by Kyodo News)