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The Unbelievable Story Of The Japanese Surfers Who Ride Fukushima’s Radioactive Waves

A contaminated beach near the irradiated nuclear power plant is still a regular spot for locals....

A authorized entry prohibited sign
in front of a japanese surfer in the contaminated area after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tairatoyoma beach, Japan

 

Five years ago on the 11th March, Japan was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of  9.0 on the riktor scale, which created a tsunami down much of the cost.

As well as causing destruction and casualties all across the country, this natural disaster also hit the Daaichi nuclear power plant, causing a level-7 catastrophe – the equivalent of Chernobyl disaster.

These amazing photos show Tairatoyoma beach, siatuated near Daaichi nuclear power plant.

Despite the beach now falling in the radioactive area after the catastrophe, some surfers still paddle out to catch Tairatoyoma’s waves.

Japanese surfer in the contaminated area after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tairatoyoma beach, Japan

The earth shook, we came back on Tairatoyoma beach” recalls one surfer, of the disaster in 2011. “None of the surfers on the beach died.”

Radiation can be found in both the sand and water at the beach, with a initiative still in place to control the radiation. For the last five years, the country has worked to remove between 5 and 30 cm of contaminated material every day, storing them in plastic bags on the outskirts of towns

The dedicated surfers are aware of the risks, with the piles of contaminated bags around the entrance to the beach a constant reminder of the risks of the area.

Man coming back in the contaminated area after the nuclear disaster to take care of his house and garden, Fukushima prefecture, Naraha, Japan

“I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation,” says one surfer.

“We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”

Japanese surfer in front of bags with contaminated sand after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tairatoyoma beach, Japan

Authorized entry prohibited signs stand at all the entrances to Tairatoyoma beach, yet the line up is still dotted with surfers on most days.

The once white sand beach is forever changed by the power of the tsunami, with only concrete now left beyond the shore. While the tourism has all but disappeared from the area, the local surf culture refuses to move on.

“I come to beach and surf several times a week” says one local. “It’s my passion, I cant stop.”

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