Despite disasters, nature is a beautiful thing. We can't live without it.
Two months after the strong earthquake, I made a trip to Minami-Aso as a tourist.
Still in doubt, I'd hoped I could heal my tired heart there, away from the complicated city life of Tokyo.
On 14 April 2016, a strong earthquake centered on the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan occurred, followed by an even stronger one in the night of 16 April. The area between Kumamoto City and Mount Aso, called Minami-Aso (Southern Aso), was most badly affected. Several dozen lives were lost, thousands of buildings and many roads were damaged, and landslides occurred. Worst of all, a 200-meter-long road bridge spanning a deep gorge in the village of Minami-Aso collapsed on 16 April before dawn. The village made headlines as it was suddenly isolated from the outside world.
All photographs in this project were taken in Minami-Aso two months after the earthquakes. Visiting as a solo traveller from Tokyo, I picked up a rental car and drove all the way down there from Kumamoto Airport. A few roads in the area remained closed, but detours had already been created to provide access to all destinations. While some tourist attractions had yet to re-open, I saw the beauty and power of nature everywhere. The ancient and powerful landscape reminded me of a simple lifestyle with a deep sense of spirituality, built upon living in harmony with nature and the environment.
Minami-Aso is one of the popular tourist spots in Japan. A decrease in tourism due to the earthquake directly affects its economy. I want this project to be proof that the area still welcomed tourists just after the earthquake.
熊本地震の 2 ヶ月後、南阿蘇を旅しました。