So last Sunday, a bunch of the English speakers in the area (mostly ALTs) got together for a barbecue. The park that was picked was an hour south…and to get there, you had to drive through the exclusion zone.

You`re allowed to drive through the exclusion zone at this point, but there are signs at the beginning of it saying to drive through as quickly as you can, and there is absolutely no stopping on the road.

According to the radiation signs along the way, the radiation in that area is 2.3µSv per hour. I`m still not 100% sure what that actually means, but for comparison, the town I live in is around 0.8µSv per hour. I looked it up a bit…according to a site called, 2.4µSv is the average annual dosage of background radiation that the average person receives.

What all that actually means is that it`s safe enough to drive through, but you don`t want to hang out there if it`s not necessary. And why would you anyway? Those towns still have everything closed, no gas stations, no convenient stores, no people. And all the side roads are blocked off so that you can`t accidentally go further into town; you have to stay on the highway and that`s it!

So when driving, I jumped when the 12pm bell went off. I was driving through one of the deserted towns…but apparently there was a school close enough to the road with electricity that the bells were still going off every day. Weird.

Anyway, the barbecue was fun, and I took tons of pictures. I`ll share a couple of my favorites here, but all the doll photos were gathered into A BBQ (Silent) and the rest of the pictures are on facebook. 😛