This is the second in a series examining how the northeast and the nation are progressing with efforts to deal with the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

For the disaster-hit coastal areas of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, tourism is more than just a business. It's a way to impart a more accurate picture of how the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis affected the region and to preserve fading memories of the disaster.

Eight years on, the number of tourists to coastal areas of the three hard-hit prefectures is growing but has not recovered to pre-disaster levels, the prefectural governments say.