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A glimpse at Noto Earthquake Shelter-Living: Open Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief Activity Report

Open Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief Activity Report

Let's look at some of the activities that Open Japan conducts outside of civil engineering work.

Post-disaster towns often get cut-off from electricity and running water for prolonged time. Particularly at Noto, liquefaction (the ground becoming liquified) have uplifted almost all underground infrastructure, and restoring vast city water pipes takes time. Survivors have to immediately adopt shelter-living. And nothing brings peace of mind better than hot meals, especially in a region known to have harsh winters. Open Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief team would ensure they have dedicated members in cooking and serving hot meals to warm the many stomachs.

Noto earthquake volunteer provding meals

NGO working on the ground have to the the agility to partner with various incoming volunteer organizations. At Noto, Open Japan quickly pull together the team of volunteers from Aichi prefecture and set up hot meal stations, cooking and distributing heart-warming and stomach-warming soup.

When there seems to be no end in sight for shelter-living, it is important to provide health, hygiene and wellness services. This would restore a sense of normalcy and comfort during the un-ideal living condition in temporary shelters.

When a group of beautician volunteers arrived, they immediate get assigned to provide dry shampoo and head massage services to the locals.

After experiencing a traumatic earthquake, unable to return to their collapsed homes and having to live in temporary accommodation is a lot for the mind to carry.

For stress-relieve, sheltering residents in Ukawa area joined workshops led by professional hairdressers to make hand-made lotion and learn hair-arrangement. Activities of such may seem irrelevant, but they help residents to take their mind off misery and shift their focus to productivity and positive learnings.

Often, these activities have become something meaningful, something to look forward to, and many moments of laughters. Reconstruction is a long road ahead. It is important to create opportunities for people to relax as a community.

There are also activities caring for children's minds and bodies.

The earthquake had forced the Okunoto boys' football team to halt their practice and the school term just ended in Spring. Despite the circumstances, the parents initiated a farewell ceremony.

Noto earthquake volunteer activities

It was the first time since the January 1st earthquake that everyone was able to gather and play. It has become a happy way to end the school term, as everyone brought smiles and played as a team once again.

Noto earthquake volunteer activities

Noto earthquake volunteer activities

The Noto Peninsula has always been a close-knit community with year-round regional festivals where people gathers. After an unprecedented earthquake, houses collapsed, lives shattered and people displaced. With many still struggling to restore normal lives, when hopes and dreams may seem farfetched, it is important to bring fun and laughters back.

Reconstruction is slowly in progress.

One home at a time, one street at a time.

And we need your continuous support.


If you resonate with our story of resilience from Noto, please pledge your support to Open Japan's disaster relief work.

Visit our Noto Disaster Relief designated page here.

We are also pledging to donate $10 for each order received at  for the months of February, March and April. This is a great opportunity to help rebuilding the earth-quake shattered region while you support our partnering local artisans. Help keep the momentum going!!


Rural Rebuild and Revitalization

We are anticipating a lot of challenge in rebuilding these small towns, while many young people, business owners and craftsmen are already planning to relocate to other cities permanently. This will add to further loss of population and reduction in economic activities in Noto region. There is no quick way to rebuild, and it takes a lot to sustain the effort. So join us, follow this journey of resilient and recovery, even when you don't hear much about the earthquake on the media anymore.

4 ways you can support Noto Earthquake Disaster Relief:

  • (1) Make a donation at our GoFundMe page. $1, $5, $10... any amount will be put to good use.

  • (2) Subscribe our blog, Follow our IG. See your Donation at work.

  • (3) Share with more people.

  • (4) Make any purchase at Goenne Japan. We pledge to donate $10 for each purchase you make during Feb, March, April. So while getting beautiful handmade craft goods from Japan you will also be making a donation!

Gofundme QR code


Taketombo corp Open Japan. Japan earthquake disaster relief


Wajima earthquake, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024
Open Japan Disaster Relief team at Noto

Open Japan is a Disaster Relief NGO rooted in 1995 Kobe's earthquake and formalized in 2011 after the East Japan Earthquake. Over the years, they have built expertise in disaster relief works and have traveled throughout the country whenever a natural disaster strikes. They work with first responders, Japan National Self-defense Force and municipalities to rescue survivors, search for the missing, to deliver supplies and warm food at shelters, clearing debris of collapse roads and houses etc... They help keep things moving during the most urgent moments after disasters strike. The organization is sustained through individual volunteer help, donations and corporate sponsors. 

If you have any question, insight or idea about this disaster relief initiative, please feel free to contact us!

All image usage rights granted by Open Japan.

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