Abandoned Hospitals in Japan
I have always found hospital quite a troublesome place, but abandoned hospitals are a completely different matter. These
The Nichitsu Ghost Town Clinic
Located in Saitama Prefecture, Nichitsu is a former mining village lost among the mountains. The mine was abandoned some thirty years ago, same was the village. However,the houses are not demolished at all, even a lot personal belongings can still be found there. Did they all leave in a hurry? because the telephones line still works!
Inside there are many karaoke machines (and many cassette tapes), manga books, countless pornography (magazines and videos), piles of gundam models, a giant pikachu … Was this a place for young kids only? But anyways, we are not here for all these.
The clinic is at a corner of the Nichitsu village, hidden behind the trees. From the outside it does not seem to be in a very good condition, and the easiest access happens to be one of the windows. Let's go!
The interior is in a very bad status as well, there is no floor left even! Rooms are on both side of the main corridor, and the most interesting one is the doctor's room!
This doctor has a collection of medical portions and human organs which are more or less recognizable in jars. Once upon a time, there is even a human brain! Unfortunately, it seems that Hannibal has been there … and the brain is gone forever. But anyways, there are still many other jars left, we really should have bought our wasabi for this.
It would be great to identify the remains, but I have no idea what they are (except the ear).
We continue the visit with the scanner room, the dentist's office,the operating room. The places are atill recognizable despite the fact that they are proper trashed.
I have been to this clinic twice, with one year interval, and most of the bodies parts disappeared during that year. This place is very frequently visited, and each time I came there are other visitors(American tourists and Japanese couples). During my second visit, I had a bit more time so I took the opportunity to get my two figurines Haruki and Yoko a special shooting session.
And just before leaving, a little scan of the lungs! Just to check they are still in good condition after all these puffs of asbestos.
Here ends our tour to the Nichitsu clinic, one the most famous haikyo clinics. It is found in many books and blogs, and often discussed about on the Japanese forums, especially about the mysterious disappearance of Nichitsu Brain.
The Ghost Clinic
The following abandoned clinic is a real gem in the haikyo world. It is almost unknown and very hard to find, which might be the reason why it is so good. I also have a nickname for it myself. The Ghost Clinic.
A visit to the old abandoned clinic has always been the climax of my trips. Before entering, I have only seen one picture of the inside of this clinic but it seemed really exciting already. But the thrill was still when I finally faced the beautiful place herself! Past the front door, we find ourselves in a small waiting room with just one chair. It is completely in the dark, but there is a door in front (the examination room) and a small window on the right behind which happens to be the pharmacy; drugs and payments were to be exchanged through the small opening in the wall. Let's see what's behind.
What a surprise! The pharmacy is full of little medicine bottles. It seems that they prepare the medicine themselves here, many bottles contained only the crude ingredients or weird-looking mixtures.
Then I tried to look into the content of these glass bottles. In the photo below on the left, for example, there was Coramine, a stimulant used against overdoses …Junkies! The Japanese salarymen were lost in their vicious circles already at that time?!
Here is the workshop of the pharmacist. By the way, do you know a saying "Idiot of the Alps"? It was a term describing the so-called "stupid" farmers living in the mountains; their impaired intellectual development was due to the lack of iodine. That is why salt is always iodized today, and of course…… especially in the Alps! I found a lot of iodine in these bottles here, perhaps for a similar reason?
Being in complete darkness, taking pictures in this room was not easy at all! Manual focus, long exposure with the tripod, and painting with torch light drained out 2 of my batteries. But with pleasure, of course.
After the pharmacy I went to the observation room. An old wooden bed, a haunted looking chair, papers, doctor's tool-case, everything was still there. What an incredible place, I can hardly believe my eyes.
At the back there was another room: the doctor's private area. This is probably where he concocts his special secrete recipes! And strangely, there was a large jar containing a brain-looking object! Could this be the missing Nichitsu Brain!? In addition there is a library with many books in German. Be aware that a Japanese doctors must study in German! Germany has contributed significantly to the modernization of Japan (especially in the field of medicine) in the late nineteenth century.
The house is large, obviously the doctor lived there with his family. There was a large dining room (with a wonderful Butsudan), a kitchen, bedrooms upstairs and … a ghost! Believe me, I jumped so high at the sight of it! We also discovered numerous documents and newspapers, most recent one dated 1962; it was therefore abandoned 50 years ago!
It is now time to leave this wonderful relic, and visit a clinic a bit more modern.
The third and final haikyo of this article is a hospital, not so old this time. Actually, it is probably from the same period as the previous one but located in the middle of a large urban area. The entrance to the hospital is guarded by a beautiful Japanese lady in blue and green. Let's explore this new world!
There are several buildings around, including the most modern are rejected our entrance with large padlocks; the old ones are a bit behind, one of them is a medical school! We will visit the school at the end.
The doors of the old hospital are locked as well, but fortunately for us one of the windows can be opened very easily. So the tour starts! It need to be done quickly however, as the sun is starting to set already.
The main hall of the hospital reminded me of old Japanese schools. With the same small signs at the entrance to each room!
This hospital was in fact moved to a newly built place, and old machines were left unusable here, scattered randomly every where.
You cannot be too tall at all to fit in the wheelchair. And a bit to the right, there are some room.
The Ambiance was strange but interesting at the same time. Although it was a shame that the rooms are no longer in their original status. The operating room, however, is still recognizable not only by the presence of a surgical bed.
Before the night stats completely, we move on to the next building.
The medical school is pretty simply and empty, but there was beautiful lighting and a strong smell of moldy wood. I finished exploring around every single corner in about 10 minutes.
And on the way back a small doll was watching us. Difficult to turn your back, it is hardly reassuring! But it will be our last memory of this old abandoned hospital.
Our brief tour is now ended. I would love to add one more hospital, which was ranked to be the most popular in Japan. It is called Kenshin Hospital (恵 心病 院), famous for its graffiti and its many stories of children who came messing around and getting into fights here. Or maybe they are just here for the dare (to set a whole floor on fire, for example!). For the above reasons, it was completely dem
ite so far?