Select Page

25 Best Abandoned Places in Japan 2015–2016

25 Best Abandoned Places in Japan 2015–2016

My previous list of the best of Japan’s abandoned places dates back two years now, as  I tend to write about accessible places. As you may know, haikyo (wasteland, abandoned places or even urban exploration) is a sensitive subject. I can’t share information about the sites, both out of respect for the local community but also and especially because it would put these places at risk. But I know you’ll appreciate these photos so here are my best 25 explorations from the past two years. If you really want to know more about a particular place, let me know in the comments at the end and I’ll think about writing some longer articles 🙂

25. School of God

Discovered by chance in a small village on the mountain slopes of Yamagata, this small school is a short but exciting exploration. Having never seen any information about it, I’m pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the gym, frozen between life and death.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, japan, japanese, ruin, school, tohoku, urban exploration, urbex, yamagata
School of God

24. Iwado Mine

With my friend Wa-san, the idea is often to take pictures of ruins under a starry sky. This time, no luck, the sky is much too cloudy but the effect isn’t totally uninteresting. There’s no way of getting into Iwado Mine but its frontage is very graphic.

abandoned, asia, factory, gunma, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Iwado Mine

23. Crematorium of the Moon

Not sure you’ll reach the moon with this means of transport. Far from being a funky visit, I admit to trembling when setting foot in this crematorium: the morbid atmosphere is repulsive and attractive at the same time. I didn’t … want to stay there … too long 😉

abandoned, asia, chiba, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Crematorium of the Moon
abandoned, asia, chiba, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Crematorium of the Moon

22. Hirugano Height Hotel

–5 degrees, alarms, in other words we won’t be going back to this abandoned hotel – it’s not worth the risk. But for me and my friends it’s on the way to the places in the “Your Name” anime. These pictures taken under the stars, feet in the snow, will make fine memories. There’s a description of the site in Japanese here.

here

abandoned, aichi, asia, chubu, haikyo, hotel, japan, japanese, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Hirugano Height Hotel
abandoned, aichi, asia, chubu, haikyo, hotel, japan, japanese, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Hirugano Height Hotel

21. Niekawa School

So how did the children get to school? We have to take an old dirt road through the Japanese Alps to reach it. A spot right in the middle of nowhere but splendid and relaxing. Happy birds, hungry insects, the heat of summer dissipated by a light forest breeze, in all an offbeat atmosphere OKLM, as they say, cool.

abandoned, asia, chubu, haikyo, japan, japanese, nagano, ruin, school, urban exploration, urbex
Niekawa School

20. Jordy and the Miso Factory

On the way back from a little abandoned school, we come across a village where nothing seems to be happening. I stop the car in front of an abandoned complex that seems curious to me. It’s true that the buildings are abandoned but at the back you can squeeze in between two planks. No idea what the place represents but my Japanese friend realizes it’s a noodle factory! An original discovery and therefore very strange.

abandoned, asia, chubu, factory, haikyo, japan, japanese, nagano, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Abandoned Miso Factory

19. Ob-Gyn

I’d never been to a gynaecologist before. And I don’t know if I will again 😉 This place is surprising, bathed in an unreal light exaggerated by the dust particles floating around. An operating room, the doctor’s office, some bedrooms – this place has probably seen a lot of births … and deaths … in its time? Relax, you’ll recover OK.

abandoned, asia, gunma, haikyo, hospital, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Ob-Gyn (産婦人科の廃墟)
abandoned, asia, gunma, haikyo, hospital, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Ob-Gyn (産婦人科の廃墟)

18. Skull Tower

Masumi and I wonder how we can climb up. This is a small tower by the roadside, surrounded by trees. There are several floors and the first two have collapsed. The only way is to pile up the rubble scattered about to make a kind of bridge and get into the tower through a small window, not easy! Inside, a rather curious scene: an altar with conscientiously arranged skulls. All around, candles. What really went on there? Depends how you look at it.

abandoned, aichi, asia, chubu, haikyo, house, japan, japanese, nagoya, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Skull Tower

17. The Abandoned Dodge of Yamanashi

I dreamed of a spring scene with a lovely model in the new greenery and flowers. So I asked Reina, a dancer friend, to accompany me on this short hike. Once on our way, we soon realize our plans will have to change. After three hours of hard walking in the snow, we finally arrive at the old Dodge. Dead trees, snow, an icy wind, but Reina beautifully contrasts with a kingdom the polar opposite of her usual surroundings.

abandoned, asia, car, chubu, haikyo, japan, japanese, ruin, season, seasonal, transport, transportation, urban exploration, urbex, winter, yamanashi
The Abandoned Dodge
Reina, abandoned, asia, car, chubu, haikyo, japan, japanese, people, ruin, season, seasonal, transport, transportation, urban exploration, urbex, winter, yamanashi
Reina & The Haikyo Dodge

16. Zenko-ji Temple

A starry night, a haikyo … but who am I with? 🙂 This temple has been used several times in movies and even in anime features. And if you’re a fan, you’ll easily be able to tell me what series it appears in.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, ibaraki, japan, japanese, kanto, people, religion, religious, ruin, spiritual, temple, urban exploration, urbex
Zenko-ji

15. White School

Sculpture course, artistic project or dope trafficking, why is this school all white? Silent exploration of a school now belonging only to ghosts.

abandoned, asia, chugoku, haikyo, japan, japanese, okayama, ruin, school, urban exploration, urbex
White School

14. Kejonuma Leisure Land

I feel my age a bit at Kejonuma. I visited this place for the first time … in 2010! It hasn’t changed apart from being much more touristy, I found myself on a photography course 🙂 It’s true this is the perfect environment to relax and work on your skills. A local community group wants to save this place and take advantage of the fact that there is a natural hot spring to open an onsen. They have a kind of Japanese Kickstarter, here.

abandoned, amusement-park, asia, attraction-park, haikyo, japan, japanese, miyagi, ruin, theme-park, tohoku, urban exploration, urbex
Kejonuma Leisure Land

13. Maya Hotel

Again, this isn’t a new exploration, as I’d already been here several times over the years. But this last visit is different: it doesn’t have just one Green Room, but two! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my article on the Maya Hotel here. This room was probably closed up in the past and looks a lot like its little sister but in much better condition.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, hotel, hyogo, japan, japanese, kansai, kobe, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Maya Hotel

12. School of Astronomy

Living in Nara distances me from many places but brings me closer to others that I’d never have visited otherwise. This school is part of it. That day, my exploring wasn’t very interesting. The school is quite empty, in poor condition. But it’s beautiful, and so is the scenery, so I launch my drone. It spots another building further up the mountain, which I go to see. Another abandoned school, much more surprising, with an abundance of unexpected objects. This is the last school on this list, and if you’re interested in abandoned Japanese schools, I’ve written an article dedicated to them here.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, japan, japanese, kansai, ruin, school, urban exploration, urbex, wakayama
Abandoned School in Mie
abandoned, asia, haikyo, japan, japanese, kansai, ruin, school, urban exploration, urbex, wakayama
Abandoned School in Mie

11. Fumiya Town

I’d been here in the middle of the night a few years ago and kept the coordinates on Google Maps. This year, I return to Shikoku at the end of the day to see this old village in the fading light. Fumiya is not yet totally abandoned, there is still one character living here. I wonder if his stories deserve a separate article …

abandoned, asia, haikyo, japan, japanese, ruin, shikoku, tokushima, urban exploration, urbex, village
Fumiya Town

10. Kasuga Mine

This is an interesting haikyo with many firsts: the first time I met Masumi, the first time I flew my drone above a haikyo, and the first time I’d walked so far along the tunnel of an abandoned mine – seemed like kilometres!

abandoned, aichi, asia, chubu, factory, haikyo, japan, japanese, mine, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Kasuga Mine
abandoned, aichi, asia, chubu, factory, haikyo, japan, japanese, mine, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Kasuga Mine

9. Kuroshio Inn

I don’t mind admitting that Miki is unquestionably one of my favourite friends and models. I suggest visiting a haikyo that I particularly like, and where many photographers take models. In other words this isn’t an original this time but just to prove once more that the Kuroshio Inn is the perfect haikyo for a picture shoot.

abandoned, asia, awaji, haikyo, hotel, hyogo, japan, japanese, kansai, miki, people, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Miki at the Kuroshio Inn
abandoned, asia, awaji, haikyo, hotel, hyogo, japan, japanese, kansai, miki, people, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Miki at the Kuroshio Inn

Miki always adapts to her surroundings spontaneously and naturally, here’s proof 🙂

abandoned, asia, awaji, haikyo, hotel, hyogo, japan, japanese, kansai, miki, people, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Miki at the Kuroshio Inn

8. Chiba sento

After visiting the mystical tree of Chiba (if you haven’t read this article, this is my favourite hike of 2016, look here), I have to refresh myself. I came across this old abandoned sento instead. Ambiance, colours and incredible lighting. Little sento, degeneration suits you well! If you want to know more about what a sento is and meet Japan’s sento ambassador, have a look at this article: Tokyo Sento with Stéphanie.

abandoned, asia, chiba, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, sento, urban exploration, urbex
Haikyo Sento in Chiba

7. Villa with the Metal Shutters

Right in the town centre, an old wall surrounds a hill on which there stands a forest and an old Western-style house. The setting reminds me strangely of Edward Scissorhands and his sinister castle. Everyone sees it but nobody dares go there, only speaking of it in whispers.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, house, japan, japanese, kansai, ruin, urban exploration, urbex, wakayama
D邸

6. Minobu Town

This is a rarely visited haikyo but still incredibly scenic: Mount Fuji in the background, old houses full of memories, a field of green tea … I was there with Masumi and a film crew to shoot a short film about haikyo explorations in Japan. It was broadcast by NHK World TV (Inside Lens documentary series).

abandoned, asia, chubu, haikyo, japan, japanese, mount-fuji, ruin, urban exploration, urbex, village, yamanashi
Minobu Town
abandoned, asia, chubu, haikyo, japan, japanese, ruin, urban exploration, urbex, village, yamanashi
Minobu Town

5. Wagakawa Hydro Plant

I don’t want to say too much about this abandoned hydroelectric plant because the exploration is extraordinary and I’m working on an article about it. I’ll just say this: everything you need for an unforgettable experience is there.

abandoned, asia, autumn, haikyo, iwate, japan, japanese, power-plant, ruin, season, seasonal, tohoku, urban exploration, urbex
Wagakawa Hydro Plant

4. Western Village

This is a very well-known Japanese haikyo that all explorers have visited, and tourists sometimes come across it completely by chance. I’m surprised at the lack of shooting so I have to do some! I find myself with Kaoru, Marin and Naomi + the mother of the three sisters as assistant. An extremely fun day to set up Western scenes with such a a genial and motivated troupe.

abandoned, amusement-park, asia, attraction-park, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, ruin, theme-park, tochigi, urban exploration, urbex
Western Village
Kaoru, Marin, Naomi, abandoned, amusement-park, asia, attraction-park, haikyo, japan, japanese, kanto, people, ruin, theme-park, tochigi, urban exploration, urbex
Western Village

3. Nara Dreamland

I won’t be writing about it anymore, but Nara Dreamland was THE abandoned amusement park in Japan. Unfortunately, its life was cut short in the year 2016. You can find my stories and adventures on Nara Dreamland here: An Abandoned Amusement Park; The Abandoned Rollercoasters; The End of a Dream. Get the tissues out …

abandoned, amusement-park, asia, attraction-park, haikyo, japan, japanese, kansai, nara, ruin, theme-park, urban exploration, urbex
Nara Dreamland

2. The Skull Clinic

A week of intensive research to try to locate this clinic by triangulation and other dubious techniques. I build a map with several potential spots and we approach at night. The first spot on my list happens to be the clinic! An exciting morning’s exploration with the discovery of a Meiji-era clinic still in perfect condition. Not obvious below but a skull is hidden in the picture. I have two articles if you’re interested in the subject: Abandoned Hospitals in Japan; Little Abandoned Japanese Clinics.

abandoned, asia, haikyo, hospital, japan, japanese, people, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Skull Clinic (髑髏医院)

1. Enchanted Power Plant

The best urban explorations are those that require research, reflection, puzzle-solving … and of course also a bit of luck too. I’d seen pictures of this magical scene a few years ago and I always had at the back of my mind that I’d look it up. Then one day I found myself in northern Japan, in a region not much visited, which was exactly where this type of power plant used to be dotted around. I was about to give up when suddenly, at a turn in the path, I heard the sound of a little waterfall and, looking through the foliage, this scene was revealed. It was as if that haikyo had called me! So small, almost insignificant and yet! So much time spent, adventures, emotions. This cute little place is a metaphor for happiness. It’s here, whispering to itself and just waiting to be found.

abandoned, aomori, asia, factory, haikyo, japan, japanese, ruin, tohoku, urban exploration, urbex
Enchanted Power Plant

That took a bit of getting through, well done for reaching the end! Now would you like to know more about a particular place? Or maybe you have thoughts to share? Go ahead 🙂 And if you want more, there are earlier best haikyo lists on my site, dig here and you’ll find them.

  • C’est beau et ça donne envie.
    C’est fou comment tu arrives à donner envie d’aller dans des lieux où normalement on passerait à côté sans même se retourner.

    D’ailleurs, il y a beaucoup de lieux de ce top sans article ?
    Ou je suis passé à côté ?
    Car ça donne envie de voir plus de photos :p

    • Tu veux dire que toi, tu ne te retournerais pas ? :p Je suis une vrai girouette moi ici, je ne tiens pas en place ! Haha, mais je comprends, il y a pas mal de lieux qui semblent anodins, il suffit de leur rajouter une histoire, ou d’y trouver une jolie scènes ou de vieux objets et tu as un beau haikyo.

      Il n’y a que des articles sur Nara Dreamland et le Maya Hotel, rien sur les autres. J’en prévois un sur la centrale (#5) mais rien de prévu sur les autres, sauf si j’ai des demandes :p

      • J’ai pas le même courage que toi à rentrer dans ces lieux abandonnés, mais j’aime l’ancien et j’aime me retourner :p

        Ma femme, en bonne japonaise, un peu moins bien sûr…

        Rien que quand ils ont démoli la maison de ses grand-parents, sans même la vider ça m’a fait mal !
        J’aurai tellement aimé fouiller dedans et ressortir tous ces objets anciens, qui pour eux sont sans valeur, mais pour nous… :/
        À une semaine près j’aurai pu, mais on a pris l’avion pour rentrer avant snif 😮

        Ah j’ai donc rien raté !
        Si je demande un article pour tous, ça passe ? :p
        (si je devais en choisir qu’un : “la tour des crânes” ! Tu peux pas mettre une photo comme ça sans rien après ! :D)

  • Cindy

    Fumiya Town m’a un peu rappelé le décor du film Whisper the heart.
    Les photos sont superbes, ça fait plaisir de voir le Japon sous un autre jour que les photos habituelles.

    • Ah bon, il y a un endroit comme ça dans Whisper of the Heart ? Il faudrait que je le regarde à nouveau alors 🙂 Exactement, même si ces photos sont parfois un peu glauques, elles montrent que le Japon ce n’est pas que Shibuya, des temples et le Mont Fuji 🙂 Il y a tellement à découvrir.

  • Tom Schmidt

    Great work!

  • Puck

    There’s a feeling of sadness about some of these places.
    Shared.

  • Yujiro Kobayashi

    I just moved to Tokyo about a year ago and I would like to travel to these areas. I heard there is a couple of islands (not Okinawa based) with old structures left behind. im quite interested with the abandoned theme parks and the hydro plant.

    any recommendations?
    thanks in advance tom
    great work

Facebook

Who Am I

azalea, drone, flower, japan, japanese, kyushu, natural, nature, saga, spring

I am Jordy Meow, I am a French photographer living in Japan. My interest is to discover and share information about offbeat and lesser known locations for foreigners coming or living in Japan. I published books and now preparing new beautiful series of guidebooks.

asia, autumn, hokkaido, japan, japanese, lake, natural, nature

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news. Only once a month :)

You have Successfully Subscribed!