About the “Memories for the Future” Project in Japan

On March 11, 2011 a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, causing unimaginable damage. Many people lost their lives, their homes, and all their precious memories collected over generations. Among the things lost were precious photos and videos — cherished images of family, friends, pets and once-in-a-lifetime events — buried in rubble or washed to sea.

To help people in Japan share their photographs and videos that did survive, Google created a website, “Mirai e no kioku” (text is in Japanese only), which means “Memories for the Future”. Through this site, people have been able to rediscover lost memories of their homes and towns.

Google is now also providing thousands of miles of Street View imagery in the affected areas that were collected before and after the disaster. Seeing the street-level imagery of the affected areas puts the plight of these communities into perspective and ensures that the memories of the disaster remain relevant and tangible for future generations.

Click the “Before” or “After” links at the top of this page and use the Google Maps display to see the areas where we have Street View coverage. Find an image in Street View by dragging the yellow “Pegman” icon onto the map where you see a blue overlay. Then click between the “Before” and “After” links to see how the earthquake and tsunami impacted that area.

“Before” and “After” Comparisons

If you are unfamiliar with this region of Japan, the links below will allow you to see some areas that were hit the hardest.

Other Locations that Sustained Damage

These regions below were also severely damaged. Please note that we do not have “Before” imagery in Street View of these spots.

Namie, Fukushima - 2 years after

Namie-machi in Fukushima was damaged heavily by the Tsunami and hastily evacuated due to the radiation threat from the nuclear disaster. By providing this 360˚ panoramic imagery, we hope people will see and learn about what happened, and keep alive memories of the disaster for the future generations.

Post by the Mayor of Namie

Namie-machi’s main street. During the Ten Days of Autumn festival, there were 100,000 visitors on this street.

Many buildings collapsed during the earthquake and now stand still in time, without being removed or repaired.

Ship wreckage can still be found one kilometer inland from the Pacific Ocean.