Silent car park of the demolished Sun Hills hotel

MJG Haikyo, Hotels / Resorts, Kanagawa 9 Comments

The remnants of the Sun Hills Hotel in Kanagawa lay hunkered down and spartan on the banks of Sagamiko lake, the blank concrete foundation of a proud edifice that never once opened to the public, hosting only the village’s truanting kids and vandals before it was unceremoniously torn down. Now just its 2-story underground car park remains, haunted by chirping crickets and families of hikers on sight-seeing breaks.

Sun Hills car park.

I went to this haikyo several months ago now, around the same time I went to the Royal Hotel with Geoff. We’d planned to see both locations that time, but got so caught up in the giant Love hotel we couldn’t make it.

So I returned to the lake, this time with Su Young. We didn’t know what to expect- I’d learned of this place only through vague mentions on unrelated websites- but I had an idea of where it was and its history.

We turned up to find only the car park, and the hotel gone. At first I thought this was literally the foundation for the hotel, and the hotel had been demolished while the car park left. Now I don’t imagine that’s even possible, let alone likely- but the hotel was certainly nowhere to be seen.

The road the car park was on led into trees and then either into the cliff or off the bank and into the lake. The hotel was there, now it isn’t.

This is the issue with seeking out haikyo with no real guidance. It’s a truth of ‘exploration’ I’ve managed to so far mostly evade, with using guide books and receiving tips from previous haikyoists. I’m reaching the stage now where I’ve already been to most of the ‘known’ haikyo, and will have to start pan-handling for myself.

All that said- this was not an awful haikyo. I’ve never been to a haikyo car park before- so we can check that off the list.

Sun Hills logo.

I wandered on the surface for a bit, wondering where the actual hotel was, while Su Young went directly down these steps and into the belly of the beast.

Uprooted steps.

As usual, I went a different route, down some steps to the side.

Stripped B1 floor.
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Leaves and elevators.
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It was very peaceful and cool inside the car park. I can’t wax lyrical about how I felt a strong sense of history or any of that, because I don’t think it had any history- it was cut short and left dis-used before it had a chance to generate any.

It made a nice break from being out in the sun though.

New Clue.
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Probably my favourite shot.
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Old Clue.

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Down the spiral access ramp to B2.
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Rounding the corner.
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Scary face on B2.
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A set from Labyrinth.
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Out the window.
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Light stairs.
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A dark hole.
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The stairs back up.

Around this time I bumped into a family of about 6 people, including grandparents and young kids. It was quite a shock for both them and me- but this was such an open haikyo with no barriers of any sort that neither of us were too worried. I smiled and said- “konnichiwa!” brightly, then went on my way.

Back up the uprooted stairs.

And that was it- we headed home.

I mentioned at the start that this car park let me check another item off my list. So what’s on the list? Well, I actually made one- the more interesting wish-list items go like this:

Abandoned subway station.

Empty nuclear bunker.

Ghost ship.

Ghost town circa 1800’s, US wild west.

Catacombs (perhaps under Paris).

Abandoned laboratory, early 1900’s (mad scientist style).

Mental asylum.

Prison (Alcatraz!).

Abandoned island (Gunkanjima).

Theme Park!

Empty skyscraper, skyscraper city (a la ‘I am Legend’)

Haunted mansion.

Incan pyramid.

And lots more. Many of those I won’t find here in Japan, but most of them are do-able somewhere in the world.

Su Young wandering the spiral.

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Me at the window (shot by Su Young).

FACTFILE

Location – Kanagawa.

Entry – Walk in.

Highlights – Empty and cool and quiet, play of light on the walls, stumbling into the sight-seeing family.

RUINS / HAIKYO

You can see all MJG’s Ruins / Haikyo explorations here:

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Comments 9

  1. My favorite: Scary Face on B2!
    Thanks again for sharing, Michael, I’ve really come to look forward to these. Your weekly links are also very useful and appreciated.

    Velo

    ps: One thing you might add to your list is Wajima, a fishing village on the Noto Honto. A bit out of the way, but a very interesting piece of what some people refer to as “real” Japan. I don’t know about actual Hiakyo, but in a sense the whole village is a kind of Hiakyo, as the fishing industry is in rapid decline, and the literally thousands of mostly docked boats and other fishing related paraphernalia are exceedingly interesting and photogenic.

  2. Yow! dyslexia strikes again. . . is there any way I can get in there and correct my spelling on Haikyo? Maybe I need to look stupid once in a while.

  3. Pingback: All the Demolished Haikyo | michael john grist

  4. Hey Mike!

    Stumbled across your adventures whilst researching for my upcoming holiday to Japan.
    I’ve always found this sort of thing intensely interesting but unfortunately there’s not a whole lot to explore here in Australia. Places aren’t generally left in abandonment for too long and are usually hastily redeveloped.

    Anyway, after reading your wish-list of places to explore and noticing you mentioned a nuclear bunker.

    Well, it may not be abandoned, nor really something you can explore on your own (as far as i know anyway) but there are a few of these around Prague. I toured one just last year after stumbling across a guide in the main square of Prague itself. You can identify these guys by their brightly coloured umbrellas.
    It was a cheap, fun and fascinating tour.

    If ever you’re in that part of the world if may be an opportunity to check another off your list!

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