Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Enoshima part 2 bamboo island

Enoshima was a fascinating place and I especially enjoyed exploring this little island, I really hope I end up back there one day to see how it continues to recover.
I suspect though that it's prospects are not good simply due to the reduced population. I have not been able to find out casualty figures from the day of the earthquake and tsunami but what was once a thriving community with a school, shops and a post office was now reduced to around 20 households still living on the Island. The only people we saw were quite old although they were working hard on the seaweed harvest and other tasks. Given it had taken over a year to restore fresh water supplies and maybe electricity I suspect all the young people had long since relocated to the mainland.

Two years and a reduced human presence had allowed nature to take it's course with the most striking thing being a jungle of young bamboo trees smothering most of the untended areas .
Bamboo grows fast and seemed to grow thickly all over the island, perhaps it's seeds having been spread all around by the tsunami?
It had penetrated and enveloped objects with the strength of it's rapid growth leaving a strange atmosphere of abandonment about the place. We noticed some signs, predating the tsunami, indicating the area was a nature reserve, I have no idea if it was home to rare animals or plants but their habitat was clearly being swallowed up by the bamboo.

Some small pockets of human activity could be seen surrounded by the bamboo thicket.
In this case a tiny garden growing a single popular Japanese vegetable.

I couldn't tell where these steps used to lead ...

A tiny part of the destroyed grave yard returned to some dignity with the bamboo held just at bay

The landscape was changing as bamboo was filling every available gap between the trees.

Fisherman's cages and even boats were no barrier to the rapid growth 

The surviving households could keep their own patches clear but all around was becoming a sea of bamboo 

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