The royal impressed the children of Japan with his juggling skills

By John Matthews
Updated February 28, 2015 03:30 PM
Credit: Tim Rooke/Rex USA

Prince William took the bullet train out of Tokyo on Saturday for the latest stop on his four-day tour of Japan – Koriyama, a town in Fukushima, which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

William, 33, found himself at home entertaining children at the Smile Kid’s Park in Koriyama, although, donning a blue suit, he may have been slightly overdressed for a ball pit. Regardless, children fawned over his juggling skills at the center, which was opened in 2012 to offer children a safe space to play without fear of radiation following the nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami.

Koriyama, which sits 34 miles west of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant – the center of a catastrophic meltdown after the earthquake in March 2011 – was never officially evacuated but many fled to the city from towns closer to the plant.

Clearly, William made an impression on the children he met on Saturday. One child was quoted as saying meeting Prince William was “a memory for a lifetime.” The prince also grabbed a shovel and participated with gathered youngsters in a tree-planting ceremony, wishing for a speedy recovery in the region.

Accompanied by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the prince retired to a traditional Japanese inn for dinner with the head of state, with ingredients sourced from local producers.

Rugby fan William also chatted with the dinner party about the Rugby World Cup, which will be held in England this year and in Japan in 2019. In his yukata before enjoying a hot springs bath, the royal offered his thanks for being provided such a warm welcome in Fukushima.

William s final day in Japan will take him further north to tour areas hit by the 2011 tsunami, which killed almost 19,000. After that, he will head to China to continue his tour of Asia.