Japan is in the headlines again this week, but for a tragic reason. An uptick in rainfall triggered in the flooding of rivers and landslides all across west Japan.
According to CNN affected areas include Kyoto, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Saga, Ehime, Kochi, Shiga, and Gifu.
As such, currently, it is inadvisable to go to Japan for any tourism-related trips.
The authorities are currently working hard to mitigate the damage as much as possible while local transport has been severely affected.
While we wait for more information to come in, let’s look at some of the areas affected and the various tourist attractions and heritage sites that are at risk during this trying time.
Source: Kyodo News
Kyoto is Japan’s third largest city and also one of its oldest. It is thought of as the heart of Japan.
It contains various tourist attractions such as Nijo Castle, the Fushimi-Inari Shrines, Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion, and Kyomizu-dera Temple, which is an important world heritage site.
According to local sources, the flooding affected parts of the prefecture and prompted the local government to call for evacuations.
However, the Togetsukyo bridge was reopened on Saturday.
Source: Otago Daily Times
Okayama was one of the areas hit the hardest with over a thousand people stranded on rooftops, waiting rescue.
It contains various attractions such as the famous Okayama Castle, the lesser known Kibitsu Shrine, the 1200 year old Saijo Inari Shrine, and the Korakuen Gardens, which are ranked among the top three gardens in Japan.
Most of the people were thankfully rescued by boats and helicopters but the true extent of the damage to the area itself is yet to be determined.
Source: Visit Kochi
Kochi was also affected by the weather with more than 230 people being unable to evacuate due to landslides.
Kochi is known for many sites such as the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden, the beautiful Chikurinji Temple, and the Ryoma Sakamoto’s Birthplace Monument. Ryoma Sakamoto was an important historical figure involved in a movement to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The city also has several statues of Anpanman, a popular Japanese manga and anime character from the 70’s. Anpanman is thought to be one of the inspirations for the popular anime, One Punch Man.
According to CNN, the NHK reported that 263 millimeters (10.3 inches) of rain fell in Sukumo City, Kochi in just 2 hours.
Despite the hard work by the authorities and emergency response crew, current death toll stands well over 100.
As things stand, it is inadvisable for tourists to go to Japan until the situation is under control and some form of official statement is released by the state. Any tourists in Japan should also take steps to ensure their safety in this time of crisis.
We at Sevenpie offer our heartfelt condolences to all affected by these tragic events. Our hopes and prayers are with those working tirelessly to help people and mitigate the damage.
Header Image Source: The Nation Multimedia