A decade ago, Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue cats abandoned by neighbours who fled the radiation clouds belching from the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant. He won't leave.
"I want to make sure I am here to take care of the last one," he said from his home in the contaminated quarantine zone. "After that I want to die, whether that be a day or hour later."
Kato's house stands close to a field which is being decontaminated.
Decontamination in fields near his house signal that other residents will soon be allowed to return.
He estimates he spends $7,000 a month on his animals, part of it to buy dog food for wild boar that gather near his house at sunset. Farmers consider them pests, and also blame them for wrecking empty homes.
Left: Unuma looks into her former home. Right: A bamboo tree grows inside Unuma's former home.
About 30 km (19 miles) southeast, still in the restricted zone, Hisae Unuma is also surveying the state of her home, which withstood the earthquake a decade ago but is now close to collapsing after years of being battered by wind, rain and snow.
"I'm surprised it's still standing," the 67-year-old farmer said, a week after the tremor that damaged Kato's house.
"I could see my cattle in the field from there," she said pointing to the living room, a view now blocked by a tangle of bamboo.
A seawall under construction.
Unuma fled as the cooling system at Tokyo Electric Power Co's nuclear plant 2.5 km away failed and its reactors began to melt down.
The government, which has adopted Fukushima as a symbol of national revival amid preparations for Tokyo Olympic Games, is encouraging residents to return to decontaminated land.
Lingering fears about the nuclear plant, jobs and poor infrastructure are keeping many away, though.
Left: A radiation dosimeter shows a reading of 1.89 microsievert per hour at Unuma's family graveyard. Right: Unuma wears a protective suit as she makes her way to her family's graveyard.
Unuma, now a vegetable farmer in Saitama prefecture near Tokyo, where her husband died three years ago, won't return even if the government scrapes the radioactive soil off her fields.
Radiation levels around her house are around 20 times the background level in Tokyo, according to a dosimeter reading carried out by Reuters.
Only the removal of Fukushima's radioactive cores will make her feel safe, a task that will take decades to complete.
"Never mind the threat from earthquakes, those reactors could blow if someone dropped a tool in the wrong place," she said.
Before making the four-hour drive back to her new home, Unuma visits the Ranch of Hope, a cattle farm owned by Masami Yoshizawa, who defied an order to cull his irradiated livestock in protest against the government and Tokyo Electric Power.
Among the 233 bullocks still there is the last surviving bullock from the 50-strong herd Unuma used to tend, and one of her last living links to the life she had before the disaster.
Her bullock ignores her when she tries to lure him over, so Yoshizawa gives her a handful of cabbage to try to tempt him.
"The thing about cattle, is that they really only think about food," Yoshizawa said.
PHOTO EDITING MARIKA KOCHIASHVILI; TEXT EDITING PRAVIN CHAR; LAYOUT JULIA DALRYMPLE