Faded glory of the Heian wedding hall

Mike Grist Burned, Churches / Shrines, Haikyo, Ibaraki 8 Comments

The ruined Heian Wedding Hall in Ibaraki prefecture is a far cry from the Akeno Gekijo Strip Club that preceded it. Here was a wholly wholesome building, built for the profession and binding of love’s vows, decorated in the most tasteful manner with Adam and Eve mounted on winged steeds in stained-glass friezes. Despite graffiti artists lending a flurry of darker images, amongst them switch-blade toting junkies and rabid giant spiders scuttling over everything, we both felt quite at peace while strolling the large complex’s moss-carpeted corridors and open-sky halls.

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In my guidebook this wedding hall did not look too impressive, with just a shot of a bride and groom sat atop a cake and nothing really evidencing its ruined status. Paul mentioned it to me a few times though as a famous ruin on the net, so I figured SY and I would tack it on to the impromptu road trip we took one rainy Sunday several weeks back. It turned out to be not at all bad, principally for some of the graffiti, sillier love hotel-ish ‘wedding’ regalia, and the great hall open to the sky and spattered with burns, moss, and bits of paper everywhere.

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We explored together, both of us snapping away. At one point some kids arrived at the entrance-way and conducted some kind of drug deal (I’m glamorizing, it was probably a Pokemon trade-off or something.) for a little while. We ignored them, tracing the spider tracks throughout the building and ultimately summiting the roof, and they went away soon enough.

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The stairs to the roof were very feeble and rusted through in places, so as usual I badgered SY to be careful going up. At the top we wanted to look into the bell-tower, but it was really a fake bell tower, just a folly with no access and presumably only a model bell inside.

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I took a few HDR photos but they didn’t turn out so good, you can see one of them in the gallery below. The best things are the grafitti shots probably. I really liked all the spiders.

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The video is a very simple walkthrough.

Heian Wedding Hall Haikyo from Michael John Grist on Vimeo.

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Location – Ibaraki.

Entry – Easy, straight in.

Highlights – Grafitti spiders, open-air hall.


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

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Comments 8

  1. Great looking Haikyo, some really eerie shots despite the wholesome nature of the building. A couple of potential tips for the future though; it would be nice to get more shots. I understand you only want to show the best but looking at your videos I see so many other cool rooms that would be nice to see in still shots. Also while on the subject of the video, I think you should start locking your exposure for when you move from room to room. It will prevent certain parts of the video coming out so dark.

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    Tornadoes- Yes indeedy.

    Adam- Cheers, and thanks for your suggestions. I used to post 40-60 photos per location, but now try to be more selective. If you’ll believe it- I already included all the best shots that I had of the place. There were other rooms, but they either did the same thing as other rooms (either great graffiti, or great ruin, or nature, or very big, or etc..) but not as well, or just didn’t show up well in my photographs. That’s part of the reason why I add video now, to give a more complete picture of what’s going on without unduly repeating the same kinds of images. As for locking video exposure, I’ll have to look into how to do it but sounds like a good move, thanks.

  3. This is a unique ruin … I doubt we’ll find anything else like this. Some of the charred wedding items that made the main room so haunting seem to be gone, but the melted phone and fixtures are awesome … I’ve gotta say I am a big fan of fire damage.
    Interesting to see the stained glass windows are (miraculously) fully intact … I’ll try and find some pictures of this place in its glory days when I head out to Ibaraki next month.

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    Paul- No doubt fire damage adds to a ruin. I’d be the last to advocate vandalism, but without it this haikyo would be a lot more bland.

  5. Pingback: 10 abandoned haikyo chairs | michael john grist

  6. Nice shots. I’m interested in checking out this haikyo. Would you mind telling me where in Ibaraki? What city and some general landmarks…

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