On a cold day in February, Takuto Okamoto guided his first tour group to a panorama few outsiders have witnessed in person: construction cranes looming over Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Seven years after deadly tsunami ripped through the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, and as residents who fled the nuclear catastrophe trickle back, Okamoto and other tour organizers are bringing curious sightseers to the region.

Many returnees hope tourism will help resuscitate their towns and ease radiation fears. But some worry about drawing a line under a disaster whose impact will be felt far into the future. The cleanup, including the removal of melted uranium fuel, may take four decades and cost several billion dollars each year.