Tetsuro Takehana, a photographer for the Asahi Shinbun, spent 10 years of his childhood in Fukushima Prefecture, recently returned to the region to capture photography of the areas designated as "difficult-to-return zones", abandoned after the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Fukushima residents were forced to abandon these areas after the national disasters compromised Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant. Takehana's photography, along with a video shot with Shigetaka Kodama, display the sobering power of nature reclaiming these abandoned areas in the seven years following the disaster.

Despite the tragic and devastating circumstances of what led to this aerial footage, it shines a revealing light on areas that appear frozen in time, as well as the relentless force with which mother nature has swallowed up buildings, cars, and other man-made devices with an inexorable tide of green. Houses and a TEPCO condominium complex are wrapped up to the second floor by creeping weeds, which also seem to make a parking lot appear to be bursting at the seams. As the left-behind areas continue to be overrun, this footage serves as a somber reminder of nature's engulfing powers and the long-lasting aftermath of such a disaster.

While we hope not to sensationalize the current state of affairs in Fukushima like a certain lying and law-breaking photographer once did, this bird's eye look provided by Takehana and Kodama offers a more tasteful look at the current conditions in the designated areas.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.