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Tourists and hotel staff stranded by quake head home(Mainichi)

Tourists get off a microbus on Feb. 26 after leaving a hot spring resort where they had been stranded following a major earthquake that hit Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, the day before.

Tourists get off a microbus on Feb. 26 after leaving a hot spring resort where they had been stranded following a major earthquake that hit Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, the day before.

NIKKO, Tochigi — Fifty-one tourists and inn employees finally headed home on Feb. 26 after being stranded at a local hot spring resort following a major earthquake.

The guests at four inns plus inn employees in the Okukinu hot spring resort departed on microbuses at around 5 p.m., after landslide debris had been cleared from roads into the area. The landslides were triggered by the Feb. 25 quake registering upper 5 on the seven-point Japanese intensity scale.

Inn guest Kosuke Fukushima, a 66-year-old from the prefectural city of Oyama, felt the quake while he was soaking in an open-air bath at the resort. He was hit with violent shaking after a terrible roaring sound. Luckily, the inn’s lights and heaters escaped damage.

“I’m glad we’re safe,” he said as he headed home.

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