Pass down memories as a reconstruction site to children and to the world through sports.

The “cathedral of soccer” has been changed following the nuclear accident.
Support reconstruction as the recovery center.

Since its opening in 1997, J-Village has hosted many players, including members of the Japanese national team, as the first national training center in the Japanese soccer world. In particular, the centrally located pitch No. 3 was a special place where fans call it the "pitch where the gods dwell" because only the Japanese national team players were allowed to use it. However, the bright memories as the "cathedral of soccer" changed completely due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident. Although the damage to buildings caused by the earthquake was minor, numerous cracks occurred on the pitches. In addition, J-Village had served as a base for settling down the nuclear accident for about six years from immediately after the accident until March 2017, and the pitches were covered with gravel and iron sheets and also used as parking lots for workers. The green pitches spread over when looking outside from the entrance. Who would imagine that they were once used as parking lots for workers? “Most of J-Village users don’t know that it was the base for bringing the nuclear accident under control,'' says Aki Kominato who is in charge of the earthquake disaster program.

Ms. Kominato has conveyed the track of J-Village to many visitors, including students, through the earthquake disaster program.

Being in charge of the earthquake disaster program out of the blue.
Convey lights and shadows as a spokesperson for J-Village.

Ms. Kominato looks back on the time when she joined the company saying, “I never thought that I would be involved in passing on the earthquake disaster.” She wanted to join J-Village taking into account her background as she had committed to sports. She is from Iwaki City and has never experienced a prolonged stay in an evacuation center. On the other hand, Ms. Nihira, her predecessor and senior, is from Naraha-machi which was included in the evacuation zone, and was connected to many repeat visitors by talking about her own experiences during the disaster program. Ms. Kominato wondered if she can convey the disaster because she has not had such experience. However, her feelings underwent changes little by little while listening to the voices of those experienced and receiving many users. This is because she realized that J-Village, which has overcome various difficulties from the time of the earthquake disaster until today itself, has stories that encourages people and raises an alarm. She says, “I can talk about J-Village from my own perspective. Now I think that my mission is to convey lights and shadows as the spokesperson for J-Village.”

The pitch No. 3, which is maintained by professionals, with green natural grass. Refining activities to convey the disasters with Ms. Mei Nihira, her predecessor.

Convey the earthquake disaster triggered by soccer.
Pass down on it to all over the country and to the world through children.

After fulfilling its role as a site responding to the recovery from the accident, J-Village begin to reopen. The worker quarters that had been lined up on the site were removed, and the pitches, which had been covered with sediment and iron sheets, were replaced by removing the soil to a depth of 40 cm. Furthermore, an all-weather practice field, a hotel with 200 rooms, and other facilities had been maintained, and their operation resumed in 2019. Now, many users visit J-Village throughout the year for various purposes, such as company training in spring, university training camp in summer, and high school trips in fall. It had more than 250 groups in 2023. It was decided that J-Village will be used for the third-round match and later of an inter-high school soccer competition next year. It should be a good opportunity to talk about the earthquake disasters. “I would be happy if J-Village became a place that young soccer players aspire to, just like Koshien for high school baseball.” Now that J-Village has overcome the darkness and difficulties with no end in sight. One day, world-famous soccer players may be born from this place, and the lessons learned from the earthquake disasters can be disseminated across the globe through them.

J-Village Street, where photos and other items are posted on the wall of the corridor on the first floor. They show the history of the place, from its opening in 1997 and the ways how the nuclear accident in 2011 was addressed afterwards until its resumption in 2019.

National Training Center

8 Utsukushimori, Yamadaoka, Naraha-machi, Futaba-gun, Fukushima Prefecture
TEL: 0240-26-0111