By GO KITAUEDA / Staff Writer
NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture–Children played with earth and fallen leaves for the first time in nearly a year at a new indoor play area in this nuclear accident-affected city.
The special playground, filled with soil, pine cones and foliage sent from western Japan, was opened on Jan. 21 in a vacant store in Nihonmatsu by the Indoor Earth Project.
Many children in the area have not been allowed to play outside because of concern about radiation from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The project, headed by architect Kota Asano, is trying to create safe environments for local children to experience nature.
“It was fun to build a tower with earth,” Teruya Tsuda, 6, said.