A few favourite haikyo from 2010

Pretty much every abandoned building I’ve been to has had its fair share of memories and mysteries, but some, without a doubt, are more interesting than others; so here, following on from the year’s photo round-up, are my favourite haikyo from the past 12 months — each paragraph of which contains a link to the original post and the full set of pictures.

Topping the list is definitely the enka singer’s house, as not only had it never (at least to my knowledge) been explored before, but it also offered up enough clues and personal details to piece together at least some parts of the life of the singer who once lived there.

house haikyo

house haikyo

After that it’s a tough choice, but probably the old pachinko parlor would sneak in second; not necessarily for any particular details that were left lying about, but because I’d always been on the look-out for such a place. And, to find one so intact as well as incredibly peaceful, was a real treat.

pachinko parlor haikyo

pachinko parlor haikyo

Next is Nichitsu mining town, the only haikyo I’ve ever returned to, as my first trip there was curtailed somewhat by fading light and a security patrol, meaning I never got to fully explore the quiet and memory filled old school. A place that turned out to be surprisingly pleasant in the daylight, and definitely made the return visit worthwhile.

Nichitsu school

Plus, going back also meant there was the chance for one last look at the now even more decayed doctor’s office.

Nichitsu mining town

For something very different, and at the same time utterly disgusting, the Japan Snake Center certainly deserves to be on the list; a set of photos that, even now, still remind me of the hideous smell of hundreds, possibly even thousands, of rotting snakes.

abandoned Japanese snake centre

abandoned Japanese snake centre

And finally, the Higashi Izu-cho Isolation Ward must get a mention. A silent, very sombre place, steadily decaying in a dark and damp bamboo forrest. One that, considering that the majority (if not all) of those who went there, did so to die, makes it by far the saddest haikyo I’ve ever visited.

Abandoned Japanese isolation ward

Abandoned Japanese isolation ward

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Comments

  1. says

    You’re definitely correct, although I may add one of my personal favorites too: The kimono shop.
    I can’t possibly express my feelings, but the idea of a mom and daughter running away in the midnight, leaving away all their belongings, it’s a rather daunting theme for me.

    • says

      Yeah, good call. I did actually think about including it, as, like you say, there’s quite a story behind it. I think the trouble is, we visited it on the same day as the enka singer’s houser. Plus it was the last stop. And no doubt because of that, and the uniqueness of the other place, it didn’t have quite the same impact. Certainly not the kind it would have had if it had been the only stop of the day.

    • says

      The Kimono Shop is one of the weirdest place I ever visited. I went there by night and it was sunk in a total darkness. Of course, I used my torchlight so that I could see things… through a thick layer of dust that was everywhere around! Really scary (both for feelings and health). Do you know more about the story of that place? Why did the mom and daughter ran away!?

      • says

        I can well imagine. I certainly wouldn’t want to go there at night. You are braver than me that’s for sure!

        Nah, unfortunately not. There were lots of mentions of the two of them running away, but no explanation of why exactly. I presume it was for financial reasons, but that’s by no means the real story. One odd thing though is that there was some speculation that the mother and daughter retuned to the area and lived nearby, but again, that hasn’t been confirmed.

        • says

          Believe me, you would have done it too! It was dark and creepy, but curiosity always have the last word :) By chance, I could also shot a few pictures of the mother and daughter. I’m not sure I should post them or not as we can see their faces perfectly… but I’ll think about it.

          Anyway, rumors always go well with haikyo. It adds a lot of value to the places we visit, and makes them much more enjoyable!

  2. says

    I was living in the Kyushu countryside before moving to Kamakura this summer. Obviously, with the population aging and moving to the big cities, there’s lots of haikyo there. Hospitals, schools, theme parks, love hotels, farm houses… you’d love it!

    • says

      That sounds like haikyo heaven. I’ve heard similar stories abut Hokkaido too.

      There again, Kamakura is a fantastic location to move to. That’s one place I never get tired of visiting.

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