Nichitsu Ghost Town stretches for around a kilometer, from the semi-functioning mine shacks at the mouth of the last tunnel, up past the Junior High School, the heavily dilapidated wooden apartments, and buildings stacked off the steep hillside on concrete supports, round a hill of white lime-chips, past the Doctor`s office hidden somewhere in the thicket of buildings, up to the Lower School, dorm, and warren of walkways.
After finishing the Lower School I split off from Jason and Mike for a while, turning left through the town where they turned right. The sky was slowly darkening, speeding our hunt for the Dr.`s office. I started to run, stopping only to explore and take photos. Round the corner of some fenced-off huts I found the town tannoy- which would once have called the workers of the town to wake, get to work, exercise, just as it called the women to prepare breakfast, for the children to get to school, for lunch breaks, for every stage of daily life.
Still wired, decorative.
At the base was a hut with double-doors barred with a sturdy-looking plank, but no padlock. It was easy enough to hoist the plank off the bars and throw open the doors. Inside, a simple and primitive looking fire-cart and fireman`s gear.
I didn`t pause for too long though, becoming increasingly worried about the fading light. I locked the place back up again and hurried to check out the nearby buildings.
Eaves falling through.
A crack pokes it`s head through a chrysalis of sheet-metal plates.
More wrecked rooms.
Chairs host to ivy.
Ivy taking tea with a chair.
Soon after Mike and Jason came trotting down the hill, with no further news on the Dr.`s office. I showed them the fire hut, then dashed off up the street to check what they`d seen.
Probably the most recent buildings, including a post office, laundromat, possibly a travel agents.
At the top of the short road, a beautifully beige town hall:
Beige and hay.
Swing-set diving into yellow.
Board with marks of haikyoists.
We raced out of that stretch of town, hoppped into the car, and sped down to the next outcropping of buildings. An octagonal-looking building, was this it? We hurried along the bridge, through the cluttered grounds, and in through the first window. Stretcher! Oxygen tank! Various bits of arcane machinery. Somewhere far-off Jason calls- “I`ve found the brain!” Mike calls- “I found the operating room!”
But let`s save that for the last post.
After we explored the Dr.`s office in the deepening gloom, eventually resorting to flash for every shot, we went up the hill and found another community hall.
Ceiling coming in.
TV on the side.
Ping-pong table been bitten in half.
Red velure curtain over the stage.
The very last of the light- much darker than this shot makes it look.
How we came in.
After the hall, a final few rooms before we called it a day.
This room as abandoned- perhaps as recently as 2007 according to calendars on the walls. We couldn`t imagine living here with almost everything closed down. There was one big security lamp in the centre, but no people.
A portable loom.
It was pitch black by the time we got done, filing back to the car for a long and confusing back and forth with the navi on which way to go. She sent us North through the mountains but after 20 minutes of winding roads we saw the road was blocked off. This same road was closed the last time we came, over a year ago.
We went back, me nearly making myself sick reading the map in the low light as the car twisted and turned, trying to sort out a route manually. GPS really spoils us. Eventually we got it figured out- and set out for Matsuyama, from which we`d take a highway North-West into Nagano, to our Toyoko Inn for the night, to prep for the massive ShinShuKanko Hotel the next day.
Here`s a very brief video inside the hall- just showing how dark and spooky it was.
The Dr.`s office is next.
Location – Nichitsu, Saitama.
Entry – Walk in.
Highlights – Community hall in the dark, fire hut, running against time with the town darkening around me.
You can see my other ruins articles in the Ruins / Haikyo Gallery.