Stark, Haunting Google Street View Images of a Post-Fukushima Japanese Town

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The Japanese town of Namie was evacuated after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi, and two years later, its 21,000 residents have been unable to return. However, as narrated in this blog post, Google Japan has sent its intrepid Street View cars to photograph the current state of the town, at the request of residents who want to see what sort of condition their houses in and also as an exercise in recording the aftermath of Fukushima for posterity. The resultant images are remarkable viewing, telling the story of a town damaged by an earthquake and then hastily abandoned — there are still cars parked on the street and cans in the vending machines. They’re also striking works of art in their own right, and the experience of exploring the town from afar via Street View is both creepy and rather humbling.

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google

Image copyright Google