The environs of Fukushima Dai-Ichi as seen from The Google Car

Fukushima from the google car
radioactive waste containment tanks at Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The folk who once lived the exclusion zone around Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant will never go back to their homes permanently. They have been allowed short supervised visits of an hour or so, just enough time to close curtains, clean out fridges and gather documents and few belongings. The Google Car, however, has spent several months in 2012 and 2013 driving pretty much everywhere in the zone, even right up to the perimeter of the power plant. The towns of Namie, Okuma and Futaba have suddenly become ghost towns. The country roads have almost weeded over and the wreckage from the tsunami bleaches, rusts and becomes covered with weeds.

Fukushima from the google car
Futaba station inside the Fukushima exclusion zone
Fukushima from the google car
Ghostly street in Namie town
Fukushima from the google car
In the hills near the power plant
Fukushima from the google car
Tsunami damage north of Fukushima daiichi power plant
fukushima tsunami damage
Tsunami damage, Nakano district, Fukushima
Fukushima from the google car
Empty cafe and vending machines
Futaba after 2011
Hospital car park, Futaba, Fukushima daiichi exclusion zone
post tsunami Fukushima
Pharmacy in Namie Town, Fukushima
nuclear power is the bright future of energy
Road towards Futaba station. The sign reads "Nuclear Power is the Bright Future of Energy"