A while back Sweden’s premier urban explorer Jan Jornmark got in contact with me about doing some haikyo together in Japan. He was on tour for his third book (on the heels of two bestsellers of mostly Swedish ruin- you won’t find them on Amazon unless you search in Swedish), coming hot from Detroit and looking for some cool stuff in Japan.
Jan’s a fascinating guy- a professor in globalization, expert on bubbles and economic collapse- whom companies that own old buildings in Sweden PAY to go into their buildings prior to refurbishment and shoot the ruins, then prep a history and present it back to them at big launch events and fundraisers.
He is essentially a professional urbexer, perhaps the first I know of. It’s a hectic schedule of exploring, travel, and speeches, as Jan talks about in the interview that follows.
Aboard Tokyo’s Urban Battleship.
Two weeks back we went together, along with my friend Rob, to check out a new (to me at least) abandoned theme park and factory/mine complex I’ve had my eye on for some time. In an awful fit of bad luck, my driving license expired one week before the trip, so Jan had to step up to the plate and do all the driving himself- despite having never driven on the left side of the road before (they drive right side in Sweden).
Well, there were a number of mishaps with confusing wipers with indicators, but it was a heroic effort and kudos to Jan for doing it. Here’s a few shots teasing the mine/factory:
Jan on the factory approach. You’ll have to wait for the main post for the orange-rusty goodness. We can see he’s rocking two cameras- classic urbex style- plus leather jacket. Cool.
Jan and Rob down in a rock-mulching pit.
Jan and me in a shoot-off
Without further ado- video interview. I’m afraid at points the sound quality is not great. It’s my first time to use my camera for this sort of thing, and only realized halfway that Jan was standing a bit far away to pick him up clearly. I tried to jimmy it in post-production, so hopefully you’ll be able to hear.
See more on Jan Jornmark at his website Deserted Places.
Explore more Japanese ruins (haikyo) in the galleries:[album id=4 template=compact]
See a curation of world ruins in the ruins gallery.
You can also read my SF & Fantasy stories inspired by ruins here.