Ruin of the White Root Mine

MJG Gunma, Haikyo, Mines / Factories 5 Comments

The White Root mine is old, so old that only the faintest outlines of its bones remain. Squint hard and you might see fragments of its ribcage scattered over the hillside, parts of a cracked skull just visible through the topsoil. Once it must have been huge, swathing up and down the valley and pumping out smoke, now there’s just …

7 Massive Holes in the Earth

MJG Mines / Factories, World Ruins 19 Comments

The Earth’s face is a pock-marked, scarified thing, riddled with enormous holes dug by human hands or caused by the caprices of nature. Deep ‘blue hole’ lagoons accrete within coral reefs, volcanoes tear the earth apart leaving enormous smoking craters…

The mist-wreathed ruin of Matsuo mine

MJG Haikyo, Iwate, Mines / Factories

Matsuo mine in the north of Japan opened in 1914 and closed in 1969. In its heyday it was the biggest mine for sulfur in the Eastern world. It had a workforce of 4,000 and a wider population of 15,000, all of whom were accommodated in a make-shift city in the mountains of Hachimantai park. The city was known as …

Ashiodozan 3. Factory and Train Station

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Mines / Factories, Tochigi 19 Comments

Despite 400 years of powering Japanese industry, of mining, processing and shipping one of the most essential early industry elements in some of the hardest and most dangerous conditions around, Ashio is remembered far more for its flaws than for its accomplishments. Ask any Japanese about Ashio, and they’ll give you a response straight from their high school history textbooks: …

Demolished remnants of the Tai-Hei-Yo Cement Plant

MJG Haikyo, Mines / Factories, Saitama 6 Comments

The Tai-Hei-Yo Cement Plant Haikyo in Chichibu, Saitama, was once one of Japan’s biggest producers of concrete, a massive complex woven through with miles of piping, studded with huge firing kilns, silos, 30-story smoke-stacks and immense clinker vats. Throughout its 50 year plus history it stripped the mountains around it bald of limestone, filled the skies with thousands of kilograms …