Many of those who evacuated from Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, after last year's nuclear disaster made a temporary return to their hometown Aug. 13 to visit their family graves during the traditional Bon period.
Naraha’s no-entry status was lifted on Aug. 10, which means people are now allowed into the town, though overnight stays are still banned. The town is among those zones where evacuation orders are set to be lifted.
Yukio Sato, 65, and his wife Eiko, 65, came from their temporary housing in Iwaki, in the same prefecture, to visit a temple on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
There they found the tombstone of their family grave on its side and the ground covered with weeds as tall as a person.
“I was surprised. The condition was worse than I had expected,” Eiko said.
The couple cut some of the grass, laid chrysanthemums on the grave and joined their hands in prayer.
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