Malaysian Photographer Sneaks into Fukushima Red Zone And Captures Chilling Photos of Ghost Towns

Malaysian Photographer Sneaks into Fukushima Red Zone And Captures Chilling Photos of Ghost Towns

A first look at the ghost towns in the Fukushima red zone five years after the nuclear disaster.

March 11, 2011: A day that the Japanese will remember for as long as they live. From the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, to the tsunamis, and finally to the explosion of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, people by the dozens were forced to evacuate and leave their lives behind. Five years later, the aftermath of that fateful day has never been seen by the public eye – that is, until today.

Also read: Inside the Spine-Chilling Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo

fukushima red zone ghost townsImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

When Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong found out that it would take 3-4 weeks to get a permit for the area, he decided to sneak in through the neighbouring forest and venture into the Fukushima ghost towns in nothing more than the clothes on his back and a gas mask. Reckless as it may seem, his adventure brought us these eerie glimpses into the aftermaths of the disaster – the first we have seen of that area. How chilling must it be to be the only person exploring a ghost town that’s frozen in time?

time stop fukushimaImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

See, this was what I meant. While the world moves on, it will forever be March 2011 in Fukushima. Tell me that doesn’t send chills down your spine.

abandoned fukushima pharmacyImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

Other than the mess on the floor, the items in the supermarkets and pharmacy stores remain untouched. It’s all still neatly arranged on the shelves…as if someone would still come to peruse them as they would on any normal day.

fukushima ghost townsImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

There are literally no signs of movement or life here. No humans, no vehicles, nothing. One can only imagine how still and silent the place must be.

fukushima traffic lightsImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

One of the only things that move there are the traffic lights, which for some reason, are still working even though the vehicles and people are long gone. It’s as if the town is stuck in Groundhog Day – creepy, isn’t it?

abandoned house fukushimaImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

One of the many abandoned houses in the ghost town. You can practically see how abruptly the townspeople were forced to evacuate.

abandoned PS2Image credit: Keow Wee Loong

There was even an unopened PS2 box in one of the houses. Amazing how this is still around, isn’t it? It didn’t escape Keow’s notice either – he saw “food, money, gold, laptop and other valuables” all lying around untouched, unlike Chernobyl, which was looted clean within months. Five years later, almost everything in Fukushima is still untouched. Absolutely incredible.

abandoned laundryImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

Even the laundry had to be abandoned.

abandoned CD shopImage credit: Keow Wee Loong

It’s as though life still goes on in this ghost town, but the calendars, books and items you see scattered around the area is enough to tell you that it will forever be March 11, 2011.

Also read: The Strangest Day of My Life in Doha, Qatar

Check out the rest of Wee Loong’s Fukushima photos and see if you can make it through his entire album without getting goosebumps! I guarantee you that you won’t.

About Author

Farzana Fattah
Farzana Fattah

Farzana is a student at Singapore Management University who’s currently wondering what on earth she’s doing with her life. When not nerding out over the latest superhero movie or scrolling through memes on Tumblr, she is almost definitely researching random places across the globe and daydreaming about the next holiday destination. She is inspired by the variety of cultures in the world and hopes to travel to at least fifty countries in her lifetime to experience most of them.


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