Asia

  • Japan's first theme park opened in Iwaki in Jan. 1966, (Courtesy, Joban Kosan Co.)
  • The original 'hula girls' for the theme park were coal miners' daughters, (Courtesy, Joban Kosan Co.)
  • An aerial view of the original Hawaiian Center complex in Iwaki, (Courtesy, Joban Kosan Co.)
  • The Joban coalfield in Iwaki was one of Japan's largest, (Courtesy, Joban Kosan Co.)
  • The resorts, 52 kilometers south of the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, has gradually expanded since opening in 1966, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • The resort runs its own complimentary bus to bring guests from Tokyo, a three-hour drive, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • The majority of the third generation of hula dancers still come from Iwaki, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Only about one third of those auditioning to join the hula troupe annually are accepted, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Resort guests join dancers on stage for a hula lesson, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Mutsumi Kudo says after the 2011 disaster she and the rest of the hula dancers no longer take for granted having an audience, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A performer eating fire on stage at Spa Resorts Hawaiian in Fukushima prefecture, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Besides hula dancers the resort's Polynesian-themed shows also feature local young men trained to perform with fire, (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Line forms prior to the 10 a.m. daily opening of the water park, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A giant dome maintains the air temperature at 28 degrees Celsius inside the water park, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Water slides are a major attraction at the 46-year-old resort, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A young woman comes to the end of her ride on a water slide, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Resort safety director Takeshi Namatame is on the grounds daily with a geiger counter, (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A reading of 0.11 microsieverts per hour on the grounds of the resort is around the level prior to the March 2011 reactor meltdowns, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Preparing a food sample for radiation testing at the Iwaki resort, October 25, 2012. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Japanese Town Recovers

Published October 29, 2012


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