郡山市, 福島県 – Koriyama-shi, Fukushima-ken

24/06/2011

Welcome to Tohoku Pillows! Please read the aptly-named ‘About Tohoku Pillows’ in ‘Main Pages’ to the right of the screen, there. It’ll explain what the hell this blog’s title is about, and what contents it aspires to include by this time next year. This post is all about my new home, Koriyama-shi, where I’ll be living from August the 3rd.

For at least one year, my home will be the city of Koriyama in Fukushima prefecture, Tohoku region, Honshu island, Japan. Pretty neat, eh. Koriyama city is the second largest city in the Tohoku region. It stays snowy until spring, and becomes pretty toasty over the summer months. I’ll be living in a block of apartments full of other JETs – which relieves my intense visions of evening loneliness – and will be teaching at two junior high schools a week. Apparently, Koriyama hosts quite a few buff clubs and grubs: food is to be eagerly anticipated. Neighbours include the lovely Mt. Bandai and Lake Inawashiro, which make up part of the Bandai-Asahi National Park (yes: Asahi is that tasty Japanese larger) and includes a few hot-spring/ onsen resorts. And swans. Many swans. As the city is quite a port for industry and produce, the Shinkansen bullet train zips directly to both Tokyo and Sendai from its centre.

Being in the Fukushima prefecture, ‘Kori’ is 55km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant which still houses an unstable nuclear reactor or two. Although Koriyama is within the UK’s advised exclusion zone for foreign travel in Japan, the Japanese Government – my employers – deem it safe to live anywhere outside a 30km radius. The radiation levels in Koriyama have reportedly returned to what they were before the accident, and current JETs working in the city say that life is back to normal (though with everyone keeping an added, sturdy eye on radiation monitors). This placement offers the opportunity for 2011 Fukushima-bound JETs to witness firsthand – and be a part of – a recovery from one of Japan’s most affecting recent disasters. For this reason, I’m very happy to be living in Koriyama. Plus, they sell square watermelons.

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That’s all I can really say about living in Koriyama until I live in Koriyama, I suppose. Thanks. Steph x

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3 Responses to “郡山市, 福島県 – Koriyama-shi, Fukushima-ken”

  1. Mum! Says:

    Don’t eat the water melons! If there is a risk of radiation that will be one of them!!!

  2. John Marley Says:

    Look forward to reading your news and experiences when you arrive

  3. John Marley Says:

    Have a save journey Steph


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