Haikyo: Urban Exploration in Japan
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: haikyos 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 suggest you go find them in my articles.
My first visits (with not really good photos I admit):
- 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
And I am getting serious…
- Nara Dreamland : the last amusement park abandoned in
- Abandoned Hospitals: Nichitsu Clinic, Tokushima Ghost’s Clinic and Higashi Old Hospital
- The Royal House : an abandoned house full of treasures. This hobby has a name in Japan, haikyomania. There are many books and blogs on this topic.
- Negishi Racecourse: a bloody adventure full of history!
And the best…
Gunkanjima : an abandoned island-city, the most famous ruin in Japan!
I also have a website called Haikyo: Exploration Urbaine au Japon on which you will find all the haikyo I have explored.
These places are especially interesting for photographers, architects and adventurers. However, it is important to note that going to these places is not only dangerous but also forbidden.
These images come from Tokyogenso, I suggest you visit his gallery here.