Pachinko parlor haikyo

The perception of pachinko, Japan’s biggest form of gambling, obviously varies depending on the individual, as what’s considered a complete waste of money for one person, is seen as a welcome (and possibly winning) break for another.

But that said, there is one constant that everyone can agree on, and that’s the noise. The frenetic flow of ball bearings and monstrously loud machines making for a din that is almost indescribable, or at the very least undesirable. And it’s this element in particular that gives the total and utter silence of an abandoned pachinko parlor a truly incredible sense of serenity.

pachinko parlor haikyo

Plus upstairs, in the office, things were just as quiet. With the desk deserted.

pachinko parlor haikyo

Kurihara-san nowhere to be seen.

pachinko parlor haikyo

And the bank of security screens busy doing nothing but staring blankly back.

pachinko parlor haikyo

However, rather than watching what was going on inside, the cameras would have been better utilised observing what (or indeed who) was on the outside, as, on April 28th 2004, two armed men stormed in, tied up the manager, and made off with ¥800,000. An episode that not only put the poor fella involved in an absolutely awful position, but also sealed the fate of the parlor too, as receipts and calendars in the building don’t go any further than that eventful month a little over 6 years ago.

A situation that’s incredibly hard to imagine when walking down the silent corridors.

pachinko parlor haikyo

With only the slightest of hints at any kind of struggle.

pachinko parlor haikyo

And yet as fascinating as the office was, the real story, at least from a picture taking perspective, is back downstairs.

pachinko parlor haikyo

As the lines.

pachinko parlor haikyo


pachinko parlor haikyo

Bits and pieces left by possibly the last punter.

pachinko parlor haikyo

And the once proud sign.

pachinko parlor haikyo

Make it practically perfect.

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  1. Mike says

    Thought this was the gutted place we visited last year at first Lee. Nice to see another new haikyo! I’ve got a couple of new places up myself recently. Drop by when you have a moment :).

    • Lee says

      Yeah, this one was a chance find — a good one too. And as far as I’m aware, previously undocumented. Plus, perhaps more importantly, utterly untouched.

    • Lee says


      I’m a big fan of offices as they often offer up a lot of personal stuff, but entering the pachinko area for the first time was something a bit special. A real treat.

    • Lee says

      Cheers Len!

      We came across this by total chance, so it’s definitely possible. Must admit though, we were incredibly lucky to find such a good one. And in such condition.

  2. MrSatyre says

    I still can’t get over how no one (especially the banks) puts locks on the doors, and clears these places out and sells off the furnishings—to say nothing of the computers and security systems. It’s all great fun for exploring, but how can this possibly make any fiscal sense? Banks in any other country would squeeze as much as they possibly could out of a closed business with an auction or three.

    • Lee says

      Yeah, I know what you mean. To be fair the machines had been taken away, which were probably of most value, but leaving everything else makes no sense at all

  3. Florian says

    Wow, this place looks really amazing! The widely known pachinko hall in Kyoto prefecture seems to be completely trashed by now, but this is a gem – I just hope you didn’t reveal too much about its location with the last photo…

    • Lee says

      Yes, it was an incredible find. Walking into the pachinko area with no real expectations and then seeing all those chairs was one of the best feelings I’ve had in all the haikyo I’ve visited.

      I did ponder about using the picture of the sign, but I felt it tied the story up nicely, and, whilst I’m not in favour of publicly posting locations, at the same, I don’t like the closed shop “sorry but I can’t tell you where it is” attitude of some Japanese haikyo lovers.

      • Florian says

        I think it’s an awesome picture and it gives the right amount of information to serious urban explorers – it’s not like you marked it in a map. IMO most destruction is done by local youth anyways, not by people who saw the place on the internet thinking “Oh, I gotta go there and trash it!”.
        And unexpected / uncertain explorations are always the best – stumbling across places or actually finding a haikyo that couldn’t be verified in advance is just remarkably rewarding.

        • Lee says

          Cheers Florian!

          Fortunately some (presumably) local youths had taken the trouble to smash one of the thick glass doors, allowing us to gain access, but other than that the place was totally untouched, making it a lucky find in so many ways.

          And I agree, especially in regards unexpected places. So many haikyo have been so well documented that it can feel like you know a place before even setting foot inside it. I just wish such lucky finds were more common…

  4. Lizzy says

    The amount of paperwork left behind always amazes me. I can understand not needing it anymore but it just seems so personal. Though, admittedly, that would be the first thing I’d be drawn to. So much history!

    • Lee says

      Yeah, the amount of personal stuff people leave behind never ceases to amaze me as well Lizzy, but at the same time I’m always glad they do. And this one was especially good, as not only were there bits and pieces of somebody’s life left behind, but as the place was completely untouched, it was just as they left it 6 years ago, making it a living snapshot of history of sorts.

  5. Spiro Agnew says

    Give me your paypal and I will send you the money to buy a colour camera. Black and white != “artsy”.

  6. jenna says

    what amazes me the most about these places, is the way they still have stuff in them. I think I’m fair to say that in the US the would have been picked clean. When the hurricanes hit here in the South, looters are a large concern.

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