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Nichitsu Ghost Town

Nichitsu Ghost Town

I’ve visited Nichitsu Ghost Town (ニッチツ鉱山村) several times, the first time was in 2010, and the last was in 2017. It’s easily accessible from Tokyo by car for a one-day trip and a worthwhile experience. I never fail to take friends interested in haikyo to Nichitsu, as it’s not dangerous, it’s not a secret spot, and it’s a good introduction to what is haikyo.

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

The Abandoned Village

The abandoned tin-mining village, about 50 km from Chichibu in Saitama, can also be reached from Kofu in Yamanashi. 

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

Nichitsu is the name of the mining company that owns the village. The workers had to live on site because of the distance from the main cities. So the village grew in size until in its heyday it had as many as 3,000 residents. 

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Nichitsu with Joan

There were two schools, a clinic, a post office and even a cinema. The bosses lived in pleasant houses with tiled roofs and good exposure to the sun, whereas the ordinary workers’ apartments along the riverside or on the cliff slopes had no bathrooms.

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Nichitsu Village

Sometime in the ’80s, the once prosperous village was abandoned. 

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

It seems that a few of the buildings were used again in the ’90s by young men – in the rooms of the most modern ones we found karaoke machines, manga books, piles of pornography, Gundam robot models and even a giant Pikachu (which we will see again, a bit later).

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Nichitsu with Joan

That was my friend Joan by the way, believe it or not but she used to be my co-worker.

The Abandoned Hospital

The Nichitsu Clinic is the first abandoned hospital I went to. Since I went to many more, you can see more of them here: Abandoned Hospitals in Japan and Little Abandoned Japanese Clinics.

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Nichitsu Village

This infamous doctor’s office also contains human organs, and among them, the horrendous Nichitsu Brain! But it seems somebody stole it, unfortunately.

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Nichitsu Village

The hospital also changed a lot between 2010 and 2017, but it is still fun to explore.

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

 

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Nichitsu Village

 

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

The Abandoned Meeting-Hall

This is another interesting part of Nichitsu, it looks like a place for the members of a sect to gather. I will post here three photos, taken at different times: 2010, 2013 and 2017. Can you spot the differences?

2010

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Nichitsu Village

2013

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Nichitsu Village

2017

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

And another one with a cute addition… yeah, Pikachu!

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

The Abandoned School

The best time to visit is probably autumn, with its profusion of magnificently coloured foliage.

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)
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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)
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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

The Abandoned Mine

Nichitsu Mine was challenging for us. I’ve been so many times to the abandoned town of Nichitsu, always passing by the mine but never daring to go in until one autumn evening with a lovely sunset. 

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

We had to cross a dangerous bridge to access the mining area, from where we could perhaps be seen by the guards who were still around.

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

Only a small section of the complex is actually abandoned and Nichitsu troops are everywhere, so better to be careful!

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

Apart from the detritus of the mining industry, the gloomy tunnels are an interesting sight…

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

It was not easy to get it, but that was the most exciting part of all the explorations I did at Nichitsu.

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

Oh, a mine cart, full of gold!

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

There are hundreds of similarly abandoned mining villages and towns in Japan. 

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Nichitsu Mine (日窒鉱山)

The most infamous example, on the verge of becoming a haikyo, is Yubari. This city once had 120,000 residents but has now lost 90 per cent of them.

What about you guys, have you ever been to Nichitsu? Would you plan visiting this ghost town next time you are in Japan? If you are interested in haikyo, it is definitely recommended as it is well-known, and you will probably meet other aventure seekers there.

Abandoned Japan Book

You will find more amazing abandoned places in my book Abandoned Japan. It is available on Amazon, here: Abandoned Japan.

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Abandoned Japan Book
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Abandoned Japan Book

More Photos of Nichitsu

  • Bodi is an abandoned gold mining town in N. California with a similar history. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509 I’ve been there several times and never get tired of the old place. Let me know when you plan to visit San Franciscc area and I’ll give you some suggestions. I plan to go to Tokyo in early October and hope to visit Nichitsu

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Who Am I

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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.