Minamisoma & Odaka Sept 22/23 Plan

In English only - apologies for no Japanese....


Philip Duncan representing the Save Minamisoma Project has been kind enough to arrange a discounted price for the car rental.  This, in conjunction with en world covering the fuel and tolls, brings the total cost of transportation to approximately JPY13,000 shared between 9 persons or JPY1500 per person. The final amount might be slightly higher depending on when we return the vehicle. Lodging cost is JPY1,000 per night so total trip cost, excluding meals and snacks will be in the region of JPY3,500 per person.

Departure details:

Team 1 depart from Kojun Bldg. 6-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku 104-0061 at 17:00. Crew to assemble at the office entrance to the building. I will be picking up the vehicle at Shimbashi and driving around to the Kojun Bldg. Kindly be at the entrance to the en world office just before 17:00 giving us time to load-up and leave by 17:00. Please purchase any refreshments/snacks for the journey beforehand.

Leader/Driver: Andrew Coad 080 3270 6419

Crew: Tomoko Konishi, Keiji Hasegawa, Fabian Juran, Tom Wilson.

Team 2 depart from Meguro at 17:00. Crew to meet at The Black Lion pub in Meguro between 16:30 and 17:00.  Kindly be on time so as to depart promptly at 17:00. Call Mike Lloret on the above number if for any reason you are running late etc.

Leader/Driver: Mike Lloret 090-9380-3508

Crew: Miyoko Ito, Jeremy Wilson, Koni

On Saturday, two additional volunteers from Minamisoma will be joining us - Kate O'Berg and Sarah Jones. Kate and Sarah both live in Minamisoma and are fellow serial-volunteers! Welcome to the crew Kate & Sarah!

++++++ End of Sept 19th Update ++++++


This volunteering trip will visit Odaka and Minamisoma.  Teams will depart from Tokyo at 17:00 on Friday 21st Sept, arriving back in Tokyo between 21:00 and 22:00 on Sunday 23rd Sept.

There will be two vehicles: Team 1 will depart from en world office in Ginza, and get onto Tokyo Expressway at the Hotel Seiyo entrance in Ginza and head north.  Team 2 will depart (current plan) from Meguro and get onto the Metropolitan Expressway No. 2 heading north at Meguro.  Both vehicles will head onto the Tohoku Expressway and rendezvous at Adatara Service Area near Motomiya in Fukushima prefecture.  The expected arrival time at Adatara is between 20:00 and 21:00 depending on traffic.  At Adatara, we will stop for a meal before heading over to Kashima (approximately 10km north of Minamisoma).  It is expected that other stops will be needed for bathroom breaks etc. before reaching Adatara but try to keep these breaks as short as possible since we need to make good time to Adatara.

After eating and refreshing at Adatara, both teams will head over to Kashima in convoy.  Kashima is approximately 60km from Adatara but will take around 2 hours due to the narrow winding roads.

Friday night 21st Sept.

Lodgings have been arranged in Kashima for Friday and Saturday nights.  The cost is JPY1,000 per night (to cover utilities etc.).  The facilities are basic; tatami rooms with futons and shared toilet.  Last time I was there there was no shower facilities - we had to shower at a nearby onsen in Haranomachi - but I understand that they have now renovated the bathroom and a shower is operational.

Saturday 22nd Sept.

Early morning we will head south to Odaka - the desired time of arrival in Odaka is approximately 08:30 - exact time to be confirmed later.  If team members need/want to use the onsen that is fine but we will need to leave Kashima earlier.  We will stop at a 7-11 to pick up coffee, breakfast and lunch items prior to setting off.  All day Saturday we will work on various tasks in and around Odaka.  These tasks will be various but are all basically cleaning and clearing; public spaces, outside and inside of peoples homes etc.  Work will be performed in two shifts with a lunch break in between. At the 7-11, make sure you pick up a sandwich or two for lunch - water and ocha is provided by the volunteer center but it is always a good idea to carry a couple of spare bottles as well.

The afternoon shift will finish around 16:00 at which time we will head to the onsen to wash, shower etc.  Dinner in the evening will either be at an izakaya in Haranomachi or a Korean BBQ in Kashima (preferred as it is within walking distance of the Kashima lodgings).  There is also a small bar in Kashima where we can have some beers.

Later that night we will be joined by two other volunteers from the Save Minamisoma Project (SMP) who will have driven a truck of fresh fruit and vegetables up from Tokyo for distribution on Sunday.

Sunday 23rd.

On Sunday, we will split into two teams.  One team will head south to Odaka and follow the same procedure as on Saturday; the other team will stay in Kashima and assist with the distribution of fresh fruit, vegetables and water to residents living in the temporary housing estates in Kashima.  There is no fixed rule on who should go to Odaka and who should stay in Kashima but it would be preferrable if the Kashima work is done by those who have not performed this work previously.  The food distribution will be complete around 13:00 (depends on how many volunteers there are in total) at which time the Kashima team will drive to Odaka and join the work there.

As on Saturday, work will complete around 16:00 at which time we will go back to the onsen for a shower and clean-up before heading back to Tokyo.  The expected time of arrival back in Tokyo is between 21:00 and 22:00.

What to bring with you:

Not much. Travel as light as possible. In addition to general casual clothing, please make sure you have:

  • a pair of long trousers
  • a long sleeved shirt
  • sun block
  • mosquito spray
  • sturdy shoes
  • towel, toiletries

One person in each car should bring a cooler to keep drinks and food in. If you have one and can bring it, let me know.


Mike Lloret will be driving his own car (Team 2) so we have the rental cost for one car, fuel, tolls etc. which will be shared across all participants. With a crew of 10 people, it is expected that this cost will not go higher than JPY8,000.  I am looking at getting some funding for fuel which will reduce costs.  If we can find an ETC card per car then the toll costs will be reduced. Let me know if anyone has an ETC card (need two in total) - I will pay cash for the amount used on the ETC card.