Ruins of the USAF base Camp Drake in Japan

MJG Haikyo, Military Installations, Saitama 285 Comments

Camp Drake was a joint US Army/Air Force base in Saitama, active until the 1970`s. It contained a hospital which handled troops coming out of Vietnam and also a communications array. Now about half of it remains, an overgrown jungle with only a few remaining buildings set back behind several layers of fencing. The other half has been eaten up by parks and a junior high school. Tanks in a shed by the commissary.

Japan’s abandoned Jungle theme park #1 outside

MJG Haikyo, Izu, Shizuoka, Theme Parks 18 Comments

Japan’s Jungle Park is an immense abandoned green house, an indoor botanical garden sheltering nearly 10,000 square meters worth of sweltering tropical habitat. It was built in 1969, and its peak of operation came in 1973 when it received 750,000 visitors per year. By 2003 over 10 million people had passed through its vast and humid acreage, but its facilities were showing their age and fewer and fewer people were coming each year. It was closed in the fall of 2003, and has lain fallow there like a giant white tent for the past seven years. Jungle Park`s main entrance.

Japan’s dying Ceramic Land theme park

MJG Haikyo, Nagasaki, Theme Parks 27 Comments

During Japan’s real estate Bubble in the 1980’s, theme parks were the investment to make. They couldn’t fail. Sink millions into expensive construction, land, and man-power, and ride the surging economy to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All those decades of post-war militaristic industrialism had finally paid off, and people were finally taking more leisure time and traveling further afield to enjoy it- you couldn’t go wrong with a theme park. Except of course, you could. The Bubble burst like an over-ripe peach and all the wacky ideas that before had seemed so bright- The …

The haunting ruins of Sports World

MJG Haikyo, Izu, Theme Parks 46 Comments

The Sports World haikyo occupies an idyllic position at the crown of the Izu peninsula, overlooking a wide swathe of richly forested mountains and valleys. In its heyday it was a sports and relaxation haven, featuring tennis courts, miniature golf, a dive pool, restaurants, a hotel, a huge wave pool, a spa, and a gym. It was abandoned in 1993 as the economic bubble burst, and has lain untended for 15 years. Now its many tennis courts are visited only by skateboarders and grafitti artists, up-turned cars line its once broad thoroughfares, its wave pool is coated with red rust …