One month ago, we showed an eerie, drone's-eye-view of the radioactive wasteland that is Fukushima, courtesy of the following video clip showcasing the toxic area located just 200 miles away from the venue of the 2020 summer Olympics.
But while the scenery from above was dramatic, what about life on the actual ground? Because just like with Chernobyl, the world may have been eager to move on and leave the wasteland on its own, the empty ghost towns that neighbor ground zero remain stuck in time. This is the "exclusion zone," and it’s one of the most radioactive places on Earth.
Inside the zone, chunks are ripped out of buildings, totaled cars lie on the street, and clocks are stopped at the moment the tsunami struck. Nature is slowly taking over the houses and possessions of those who once called this place home.
"I feel like I’m in a parallel world," says Norikatsu Nakazato, who is only rarely allowed to visit his family’s 110-year-old house. "I don’t think I’ll be able to live here again in this lifetime."
Fusion’s Tim Pool took a trip to the heart of the exclusion zone in October to talk with Nakazato and other survivors who refuse to leave, one of whom gives the following poignant answer when asked why he won't leave and whether he is scared. He answer is no, because "I just gave up."