Gunkanjima Opens

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Nagasaki 7 Comments

Gunkanjima opens to the public! The famed ‘Battleship Island’, properly Hashima island- formerly a haikyo Holy Grail, has now been opened to tourists to ‘explore’ along a specially built walkway. The cost of the trip is 4,000yen, including the ferry ride out to the dilapidated island. Tourists have up to one hour (weather permitting) to wander the walkway before they have to re-board the ferry and leave. This is great in some ways- the island will be preserved, vandals will be stopped from gaining access as security will be doubtless beefed up. But for the same reason, any proper exploration …

Mt. Fuji’s mysterious underground vault

MJG Haikyo, Vaults, Yamanashi 35 Comments

The underground vault haikyo in the shadow of Mt. Fuji is one of the strangest abandoned structures I’ve yet explored. A double-doored double-walled walk-in safe with triple combination locks buried in a man-made mound in an unpopulated and obscure part of the Japanese countryside. Now its thick and weighty doors hang open and loose, and there’s nothing in the vault but for 5 odd logo/symbols on the wall, and no other clue as to its purpose but for the dedication in kanji on top of the dome- ‘in memory of our ancestors’. Imposing entry hall to the vault. I stumbled …

Storm Watcher

MJG Stories, Surreal 2 Comments

The storm-post was made of crumbling old red brick. Ragged weeds grew up its chipped and tattered sides, through its paving stones and round the observation platform binoculars on its roof. The grindstone railings that once prevented tourists from falling over the edge had collapsed inwards in a landslide a long time ago. Its windows were all broken or cracked. At night the long low mountain winds rushed cold down its halls draped with autumnal leaves, crinkling in the dry air. Stockrooms filled with ancient paraphernalia all had a low white carpet of snow. Once it had been a place …

Ruins of Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan

MJG Haikyo, Theme Parks, Yamanashi 21 Comments

Gulliver once rested in the shadow of Mt.Fuji, bound and nailed to the ground by the hair. His giant body was the main attraction of the now defunct and dismembered Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, built in 1997, closed in 2001 due to defaulting bank loans, and demolished around 2007. Perhaps a contributing factor to its ultimate failure was the proximity of Kamikuishiki- a small village that was the main base for the cult Aum Shinrikyo at the time of their deadly 1995 Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Tourists on a day-trip with …

Tuesday’s Links

MJG Uncategorized 1 Comment

Urban Explorer Rankings– Hilarious list of the XP ‘levelling’ structure of urban explorers, including pre-requisities and special skills conferred. Level 3 (of 9) Pre-requisities: 1 x hallway photo, open doors optional 1 x apology thread, when called out for graffiti painted earlier in exploration career 1 x evidence of partaking in a media article/show where you have defined urban exploration 1 x evidence of thinking you are a ninja Level 3 (of 9) Skills Conferred Forum Owner: One gains the ability to start their own forum to further their position in in the community. Nudity: Explorer is now able to …

The death of Metabolism- the New Sky Biru

MJG Haikyo, Residential, Tokyo-to 16 Comments

The New Sky Building in Shinjuku belongs to the stable of architecture known as Metabolism, a 1970’s movement in Japan to create utilitarian, utopian, bolt-on and off structures that can change and evolve as needed.  It was a grand-sounding vision that never went mainstream, as Metabolist buildings were often a nightmare to construct and far too much effort to actually ‘transform’ by re-bolting. Another example is the Nakagin Capsule Hotel Tower in Shimbashi- slated for destruction. Bolt-on modules up the left side.

Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Haikyo and photography links this week, as I’ve been off exploring the Internets for haikyo locations and photography inspirations. David LaCahappelle– Thanks to Velo in the comments for this link, hyper-colorful surreal photos that you’ve probably seen before, as he shoots famous folk like Elton John and Pamela Anderson, for their album covers and whatnot. Exploring the Paris Catacombs– Dweeb and some blokes from the UK Urbex site 28dayslater take a few days under Paris to explore and shoot photos of weird art, old graffiti, and bones. Brooke Shaden– Thanks to J-eye for the link to this one, a photographer …

The hotel on Yamanaka lake they never finished

MJG Haikyo, Hotels / Resorts, Yamanashi 7 Comments

The Yamanakako Resort Hotel at the foot of Mt. Fuji is another Bubble-era dead-end, a half-built extravagance that freezes in time the moment the crash occurred. Its rooms lie fallow and bare, uncarpeted and unpainted, with no furnishings but for dusty bath-tubs still in their vinyl casts, yet to be plumbed into the pipe-stalks jutting from the rough cement floors. Pyramidal heaps of wall-paper slowly mildew in the wind-swept hallways, alongside racks of wooden drywall frames with workers’ sawhorses standing ready for use, all of it written off and forgotten about when the economy collapsed.

Route 66

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 3 Comments

Black highway snaking through an empty desert, star-studded midnight sky overhead, reflecting on the polished blacktop. Constellations dot to dot across the shiny old road, here and there disturbed by the central glint of refracting cat’s eyes, forming new and curious imaginary beasts on the black surface, the earth’s alteration of the heavens’ map. All around blocky sandstone buttes loom from the darkness, like giant gardeners tending to the strip of alien stone set through their territory. Somewhere, perhaps on the peaks of the gloomed out outcroppings, a wolf howls into the night. Image from artbypavel.

Heaven Artists- FourLegsMAN

MJG Heaven Artists, Japan 6 Comments

FourLegsMAN is the creation of Heaven Artist Chikurino, a delightful fusion of creepy black-clad stalker, entrancing four-legged mime and hilariously shocking legs akimbo flasher. Like the Black Widow he draws in his prey with mesmerizing foot-work, four legs walking him smoothly on and off his box and round his den until all eyes are set on trying to determine- ‘how is he doing that, and which are his real legs?’ Then he ups skirts, the two fake legs hoist like a giant maw opening, and he charges down his unwitting prey- normally school-girls who dash away laughing hysterically.