The abandoned dental school that became a giant nest

Mike GristHaikyo, Ibaraki, Schools 3 Comments

The Dental School Haikyo in Ibaraki is one giant nest, a big empty shell carpeted with straw and twittering with the sound of swooping birds. Every room, corridor, and hall is scattered with their off-cast building materials, feathers, droppings, and bodies. Broken EXIT signs, fire-hose cupboards, sinks and shattered fuse-boxes all serve as their homes, stuffed with rotten straw and twigs.


The Dental School was a tough one, one we (me and Mike) almost gave up on due to its total and thorough blockage of all ground floor access. It was the 3rd still-existing haikyo we visited on our recent round-up of Tochigi and Ibaraki locations. Prior to it we’d searched for a glorious glass-roofed Spa used to shoot scenes of Battle Royale, a half-burnt-down Strip club, and a Hospital- all of which had been recently demolished.

The Dental School was tucked away behind a double set of fences, with a nearby complex and a security guard in his box beadily eyeing the main gate. We scurried around the side and ducked through the first fence, walked through close-knit confers, to find on the other side a shell of a warehouse. We circum-navigated either side and met in the middle- it was barren, though underneath the stage at one end there was an interestingly submerged sub-storage area. The first three photos in the gallery at the bottom are from inside.

We hurried on, careful to stay clear of the security guard’s line of sight. The second fence had already been cut, we stepped through and looked on the school. Initial prospects seemed bad- every door and window was not only covered on the outside with wooden and metal scaffold-boards wedged into the frames, but also braced on the inside with a metal grille. Someone prior to us had tried to force entry with what must have been an axe- but were halted by the metal grille on the inside (see 7th picture in gallery). Just to be clear; it wasn’t us, we don’t carry an axe.

We wandered round the back, investigating the low concrete remains of walls that might have been sheds, set in a light-growth bamboo/thorn jungle. The school continued all the way round to be doubly bolted and strapped. We admired the sagging power lines, ivy creeping up the poles, and wondered if we were going to give up. One window on the second floor though had been grabbing my attention for a while; it was a quarter-open and next to a double-line of drain-pipes. I suggested it to Mike, and we went over to have a look.


The open window on the left is the one we ultimately climbed through. At the time though it wasn’t open, so I took to the pipe unsure as to whether it would even be open, let alone nailed or rusted shut. The pipe proved to be very sturdy, though all the same I took cares to only pull on it vertically along its length, not outwards and pushing off the wall. I was up to the second floor before I knew it, reaching over to the window, and of course it swung open. I clambered through, and Mike soon followed.

We went down to check out the ground floor, but since it was so thoroughly boarded up there was no light, no birds either, and every room had been emptied out of furniture. I left Mike to explore in the dark while I went up to talk to the birds.

They swooped around me some at first, I suppose shocked by my alien presence and trying to escape. Even after they’d left the building though I continued to hear them twittering away constantly, either within the ceilings I suppose or in the nearby trees.

The place was totally empty. One room had nice wooden piping on the walls- I assume it was the principal’s office. There was no grand hall, no dorms, no chalk-boards, and not any dental equipment at all. Straw however was everywhere.


There were also a fair few dead birds, lying where’d they fallen.


I met up with Mike on the roof, where I took the following shot of wind-dessicated floorboards. We walked around on the roof for a while before spying the second haikyo of the complex, a rusted factory out-housing with a tall incinerator chimney.


There was nothing left to do, so we made our way back down the drain-pipe, and set off like Locke and Jack on the island through the light jungle, searching for the Factory. That’ll be next Friday’s post. After that will be the Paris catacombs (skull and bones alert!).

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Here’s a video of me being swooped by birds. You can’t tell in the video but I’m mostly proceeding in a sheltered crouch- not wanting to get a swooping bird’s beak in the eye.

Bird School Haikyo from Michael John Grist on Vimeo.


Location – Ibaraki.

Entry – Through some fences, up a drain-pipe, and in through a second floor window.

Highlights – Drain-pipe climbing, being swooped at by a family of birds, spying from the roof our next target- a factory complex.


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

Comments 3

  1. I was hoping to see birds flying into the camera cawing and trying to peck your eyes!

    So we both climbed up the pipe, and then back down eh? Well if you say so!

    Some good pics here, different shots than I got. Video too. Haven’t done video for ages now.

  2. Why is there no video of either of you climbing the pipe?? And it is only speculation that you both climbed the pipe? I was thinking it sounds like a daring feat for the Can.

    Good to see some well-exposed shots in this set (doorway and table; lead post shot)

    Why do you whisper in the video?

  3. Post

    Mike- It was a real joy to see you climb up that pipe. Slightly less so to watch you climb back down… Birds flying into camera- you didn`t see that? I`ll have to shoot in 3-D next time.

    Jason- No video, well, when I first climbed I had my camera with me cos I didn`t know if the Can would be able to get up. Also because showing entrance to these things is a bit like `evidence` of trespassing. I avoid any such shots or video of me or others when in these places. Whisper- I guess this kind of barn/nest evokes a need to whisper. So as not to alarm the birds, maybe?

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