The abandoned and surprisingly intact Sun Park Hotel

When heading to a haikyo, there are never any guarantees: It’s often hard to get a true location. The building might not be there anymore. And the interior may have been smashed up beyond all recognition even if it is. Factors that when added together make genuinely incredible places all the more rewarding — like the recently visited and spectacularly preserved, abandoned school.

In fact, it was in such good condition that expectations for the Sun Park Hotel had to be suppressed still further. Along with the usual uncertainties, there was a sense that anything even approaching the completeness of the school would be asking too much. And needless to say it was, but thankfully only slightly, as the hotel was still in surprisingly good condition — plus it had a sombre, and yet really quite serene ambience of all of its own.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Situated in Kiyosato, Yamanashi Prefecture, the hotel suffered a fate similar to the countless other closed businesses that line the main streets of the once popular holiday resort: it went bankrupt.

Only a few hours or so from Tokyo, and once labelled a ‘mini Harajuku’, the area was apparently the place to visit in the 80s, but, like everything else that has a boom, there sadly had to be a bust, and Kiyosato’s came at the end of that decade. The visitors disappeared, and so did many of the places they once visited — like the Sun Park Hotel.

The building now sits semi-hidden by trees, but inside, it’s almost welcoming. The bar and eating area by the entrance is even now still set out to accommodate those looking for a bite to eat or a few beers.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Although the last people to do such a thing were presumably the last of the staff, having one last drink.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

It may even have been Yamamoto-san, but that’s something only he or she can answer.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Unlike the telephone.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Elsewhere, the sense of waiting persists, although as calendars suggest the hotel closed in either 1989 or 90, it’s a long while indeed since this chair seated a young diner.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

And it was very similar upstairs, even if the paintwork and elaborate lighting has seen better days.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Despite damage in the corridors due to scavengers ripping out metal wiring in the ceilings, the rooms themselves are still remarkably well preserved.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Televisions remain untouched.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

And one can almost imagine still using the laughably ostentatious telephone to call down for a quick clean up.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Plus some fresh bedding.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

But just like the slippers, you’d have to wait patiently. Possibly forever.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

Because just like the plight of Kiyosato itself, no one will come.

abandoned Sun Park hotel in Japan

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Comments

  1. TigrouMeow says

    So that’s the one :) Interestingly, it looks a bit different from the common ones here in Japan, this one being slightly more european. About the “spectacularly preserved” school, I thought it was so as well at the beginning, but friends of mine went there 1 year or 2 years ago, and there weren’t tables and chairs at this time! People really take care of that place… or maybe the urban explorers play with it?

    • Lee says

      Yes, they had a full on European thing going on. Even the fancy phones had an alpine scene in the middle of the dial. It was probably quite nice back in the day. If a little tacky.

  2. Peta says

    Wow! Brilliant!!! I love your write up too – very poetic :) i cant believe those phones are still there. Would have expected someone would have rippesd them off to sell down at Akiba!!

  3. winnie says

    It is so amazing that the whole place like this hotel is being abandoned!!
    It actually make me wondering will some of attraction in Tokyo(example like Sanrio puroland) will end up these too in 30 year time or later.
    The television and bedding are looking new too.
    I love the picture of beautiful lighting. It look so attractive to me!!
    And the pictures end with “Please do not disturb” sign.
    Fabulous pictures with great writeup!!

    • Lee says

      Cheers Winnie! Yes, it was in really condition, especially the rooms. Some were pretty much usable, apart from having no sheets.

      Even if such places go bankrupt in Tokyo, I suppose the value of the land will stop them becoming haikyo. Outside the cities, however, it’s obviously a very different story…

    • Lee says

      Yes, opening some of those doors was a bit of a worry. Always felt like there might be somebody on the other side…

    • Lee says

      I know what you mean. A few of the abandoned places I’ve visited in the past have clearly had people living in them at some point, but despite its very livable condition, there were no signs of anybody stopping here – not even briefly.

  4. Linette says

    Maybe you have answered this already, but why are these places still intact? In the States, a place like this would have been vandalized or destroyed or reclaimed by the homeless long ago. Is there a respect for these places that leaves them untouched?

    • Lee says

      It’s a very good question Linette, and one I can’t really answer. The only thing I can think of is that clearing the place out and demolishing it would cost too much, so they simply leave it.

      A handful of places I’ve been to have had homeless people living there at some point, and sadly more than a few have been vandalized. Some of them in fact have been practically destroyed.

  5. AmandaT says

    Wow how beautifully creepy. When I think of ruins, I certainly never think of a hotel. This could be the setting of some kind of artsy zombie apocalypse movie.

    • Lee says

      To be honest it was surprisingly peaceful to walk around. The place had a really quite nice ambience. Opening closed doors though was still a little unnerving.

      There are quite a lot of abandoned hotels. They aren’t always the best, as it’s often a case of just traipsing through room after identical room. This one, however, was thankfully a bit different.

  6. Dan Ryan says

    One of your best posts, Lee. Excellent. Do you ever get the sense that some of the things you come across have been staged a little by other haikyo explorers?

    • Lee says

      Cheers Dan! Yes, in ‘popular’ haikyo, lots of things get moved around. No doubt about it. And to be honest, it’s sometimes quite obvious. In fact, the only place I’ve visited that I’m absolutely certain nothing was moved was the enka singer’s house. A chance find that was totally undocumented, and that aspect, along with its very personal nature, probably makes it my favorite ever haikyo. A really special, if somewhat sad, little place.

  7. Fernando U. says

    It’s hard to think that if this hotel was in my country, Burglars would have stolen almost everything already. Indeed, beautiful photos.

    • Lee says

      Thanks Fernando. Often things are stolen, or at least wrecked. With this place we got lucky. Very lucky really.

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