Returning to Japan, and Ayumi

Kirsten's Visit to Japan

Post by Kirsten Koppang Telford, COO & Co-Founder

Twenty years ago, as a university student, I had the opportunity to spend an amazing, often intense, year in a small city in a more rural part of Japan, north of Tokyo. Fukushima Prefecture is lovely – with mountains, ocean and farmland. Warm people, the best gyoza in the country, and home to many of the country’s best Onsen (hot springs). Most people in North America had never heard of Fukushima until March 11, 2011, when a massive earthquake hit the area, creating a tsunami that devastated parts of the east coast, triggering the third event in this trifecta of awful – the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor.

Suddenly we all knew the name Fukushima.

Some of you who have followed ePACT since our early days will know that it was our friends in Fukushima that were the impetus for ePACT. Inspired by the stories of what they went through, and especially of my friend Ayumi, separated from her children for days, Christine and I began to envision ways that we could better prepare – whether for the catastrophic, or the day-to-day. Read the inspiration for ePACT in our Founder’s Story.

Seven years after the Fukushima disaster, and twenty years since I last visited Japan, this summer I had the opportunity to go back to Japan – this time with my sixteen year old daughter. We visited Fukushima, and had the chance to see how this beautiful area has emerged from the devastation of 2011.

One of the highlights of our trip was two days in Tokyo, with Ayumi and her daughters. Our friends at Flytographer helped us commemorate the occasion with our own photoshoot at Tokyo’s Asakusa Shrine.

About Flytographer
Flytographer connects travellers with local photographers in 250 cities worldwide for fun, candid vacation photoshoots (about an hour). Imagine you are on a family trip to Rome. You’d meet Roberta, she’ll stroll the streets with you and take beautiful photos of everyone with iconic backdrops…. all the whole sharing insider tips like “this is the best coffee shop, or this alley has the best view of the Colosseum”. So you return home not only with a priceless souvenir, but you’ve rubbed elbows authentically with a local, all for the price of a nice dinner out. Flytographer has helped over 20,000 customers around the globe, capture the magic of travel.

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