Urbex in Japan: Haikyo
The 80’s in Japan. Japan boosts its economy vehemently: the loans are made easier, there is a lot of money available, liquidity, and the Japanese have wages 30 to 40% higher than European salaries. They buy and speculate by every means. New factories, apartment buildings, golf courses, amusement park are built … the champagne flows! The speculative bubble, for its part, increases dangerously and eventually explodes on December 29, 1989. Two years later, the value of the Nikkei slumped over 50% and since then it has never stopped falling. A new landscape – post-apocalyptic – takes birth: haikyo world. A playground for enthusiasts of all kinds.
Many haikyo (“ruins” in Japanese) are born in recent years. Amusement parks and arcades neglected, abandoned construction sites, forgotten hotels, ghost towns, deserted hospitals and schools… these places are thousands in Japan.
I started in 2010, and those explores are my first adventures (and therefore, photos aren’t so good, but the excitement is at its maximum):
- Izu Sports World : water park, similar to Aqualand
- Heian Wedding Hall & Pachinko : place for marriages and pachinko (arcade)
- Queen Chateau Soapland : bathhouse with prostitutes
- Yamanakako Resort & SPG House : 2 hotels close to Mount Fuji
- New Sky Building Warship : an extraordinary apartment complex resembling a warship
Then, in 2011, I really got more serious, and more professional about it:
- Nara Dreamland: Amazing abandoned amusement park located in Nara.
- Nara Dreamland: The Abandoned Rollercoasters: That’s when I walked on those abandoned rollercoasters for the first time.
- Nara Dreamland: The End of a Dream: When the park was demolished. My best photos towards the end, and more…
- Abandoned Hospitals: The first abandoned hospitals I have visited.
- Little Abandoned Japanese Clinics: Because I really love abandoned hospitals, here are a few more.
- The Royal House: An abandoned house full of treasures.
- Negishi Racecourse: A bloody adventure full of stories and history.
- The Abandoned Western Village: Exploring an abandoned western-looking town in Japan with 3 Japanese girls.
And here is the best I have visited: Gunkanjima. An abandoned island-city, the most famous ruin in Japan!
Last but not least, I published a book with a selection of my best stories and photos. If you enjoy Japanese ruins, you will love this book. It’s available on Amazon (Amazon US) or you can ask your bookstore to order it.
The images have been created by Tokyogenso. I suggest you visit his gallery here.