The dead boar of Yamanaka lake

Mike Grist Haikyo, Hotels / Resorts, Yamanashi 6 Comments

The Yamanakako Spa Resort Hotel in Yamanashi prefecture very nearly didn’t make the cut to appear on this site, as I came close to just walking on by. It was only an hour or so from dusk, and I’d already spent hours exploring and shooting the main Resort Hotel I’d come out for. From the outside it was an unremarkable complex, a simple red brick structure set off from the road on a slight hill. The first building in the complex was bland on the inside, but the second had more to offer; a spacious main function space spread with beautifully crinkled red floor tiles, cocooned by a curved glass-wall exterior, dotted with small private onsen, and guarded by the dead and dessicated corpse of a bristly wild pig.


I definitely entered the place spoiling for a fight. I was ready to look at everything I saw and label it- ‘junk’. I suppose I wanted to go home, basically, and so wanted this haikyo to be junk so I didn’t have to linger, be creative with photos, or make an effort. I walked through the first building with about zero respect. And by that I don’t mean I was smashing stuff and kicking in walls. I was just walking through like I was walking through a convenience store, nothing special, nothing to see, nothing to a hardened haikyoist like me!

Ha. I saw the pig on the second floor entrance of the second building and realized I’d have to turn my brain back on.


The pig was dried out and stiff, its skin like leather. I found it in the foyer, but it didn’t die in that position- some previous ‘explorer’ must have pulled it out of its final resting place, a small store room by the entrance, so as to better take its picture. I could see the patch on the carpet where it must have died, and then decayed. I took a picture of the death patch but it just looks like an oil stain, and would be quite ghoulish to show. As for the pig itself I’ll go with black and white. In color it is just a little too much, I think.

I suppose the pig got itself trapped in the room by accident, the door latched shut, and it couldn’t get out. It was probably rooting around for food.

I stepped over the corpse and into the main hall, where I saw the spread of broken red and grey tiles across the floor, their cragged angularity off-set by the smooth swerve of the rounded window-walls. I found a white hot-water vat on the counter and set it in the middle of the tiles for the contrast.


Around the back of the hall were many small private baths- they were all too dim for decent photography though, and even with light would just look like bathrooms, with very little decay as they were all plastic and shielded from the elements.

On the second floor were rooms filled with bunk-beds. In some of them the mattresses had been hoisted and slashed. In others the pillows had been mounded in the middle. In one, pillows had been hurled out the window to rest like snowdrift on the low roof of a nearby structure.


I went up to the roof and enjoyed a final view of Fuji with the sun behind him, not conducive to a beautiful shot but beautiful for the eyes. Around that time I saw the entrance to the underground vault/bunker I wrote about last week.

After all that it was getting dark, and I headed back around the lake. The final bus from the nearest stop had been at 5:30, which I handily missed. I walked for another hour in the gathering dark to the main bus station, where I took great pains to try to explain to the woman there that I needed to get to Tokyo that night. She seemed quite unhelpful, telling me to just wait, which I relatively patiently did. After about 90 minutes the last bus came, and it turned out they had room, so on I got, bad vibes about being kept waiting in unreceptive silence forgotten with a cheery smile and wave. That was about 9pm. I suppose I got back to Tokyo around 11.

Yamanakako Spa Resort Haikyo from Michael John Grist on Vimeo.

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Location – Yamanashi.

Entry – Very easy, walk up a slope and straight in, no fences.

Highlights – The dead pig, main hall.


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

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Comments 6

  1. It amazes me that there are all these ruins around Japan that are just left.. If it was England they’d be full of squatters or burned out or both. I look at this journal alot, Mike, and really enjoy vicariously wandering about places with you. Maybe one day we will make it back to Tokyo and we can do the rest of the things there wasn’t time to do before 🙂

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    Tornadoes- Nice spot to lay down for a bit of a nap.

    Lee- Worth a visit in tandem with the underground vault and main resort hotel, since they’re all close together.

    Snoweh- Hello there, and glad to have you vicariously wandering these places with me 🙂 About squatters and stuff in the uk, for sure- I went to a few and though I never bumped into anybody, I saw plenty of signs of recent life, including drug gear and needles and whatnot. If you make it over again, for sure we’ll tear the place up!

  3. Mate i appreciate the photos and I wish we had buildings like this in Australia to explore, but please stop moving things! It ruins the whole point… Keep it more natural, not manufactured. The explorers who go after you will thank you too! Loving the website!

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    Joel- Hey there, thanks for commenting, and glad you like the site. As for moving things, we could have a debate about that (what is natural in a man-made location, and what does it matter?), but to be straight on the facts- I didn`t move anything in this location. As I say in the post, someone had already pulled the boar out of the store-room it died in.

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