Haikyo Roundup Feb 2010

Mike GristHaikyo 5 Comments

For a while I was doing a weekly roundup of all the haikyo explorations I knew going on around the web. I haven`t done it for about 6 months because it seemed that the fast pace of exploration had died down somewhat and there was little to report on. Now, after that long break, there`s a lot to report on again. Maybe you`ll have seen these on their individual sites already- if not, enjoy.

Dinosaurland and Snake Center– Paul of Misuterareta (Abandoned) and Brian of Gaijin Bash (uh…?) went together to a subterranean dinosaur park/museum thing. Highlights include gooping through the lake of water inside, climbing precarious walls, and jars and jars of dead snakes in the nearby snake center. A great new haikyo that I`ve not seen in any book, perhaps an original find.

Kaiten Base– About a month before I went there, Lee of Tokyo Times headed out with the son of a man who had been scheduled to be a kaiten captain. Lee walked the grounds with this fellow giving him an intimate history of the place. He also tried for Gunkanjima, but the weather was too bad and the single tour ferry wouldn`t stop at the jetty for safety reasons. A real shame.

Abandoned Ski Lodge– Mike of Mike`s Blender went to this place, along with me, Lee, and another Mike. I didn`t take photos inside the lodge, preferring to tramp around with ski poles, but Mike did, and here`s what he found- mostly big empty halls and cafeterias. Good shots of the ski lift too.

Trick Art Museum– Paul of Misuterareta went to this Wonder Museum on the dark side of Fuji, traipsing by bus and a long walk for 5 hours just to get there. Hard work. Great exploration of the inside, though.

Rotting Onsen Hotel- Mike of Gakuranman went to this unnamed location and cruised about, taking long-exposure photos and being creeped out by the decayed atmosphere.

Takifudo Houses– Adrian of Broken Rhythm (on flickr) went to shoot these crumbly old houses somewhere in Chiba, some in HDR, before they were demolished recently.

Doggyland– Florian of abandonedkansai is a somewhat new face on the haikyo scene, but already has stacked up some great explores- unique as far as I know. Doggyland is perhaps the best- a theme park for people who liked dogs. You could rent a dog, buy dog food, take a dog for a walk, watch a movie with your dog, watch dogs racing in the small racetrack and… well, yes, you get the idea. The place is a ruin, after all.

For this update some people went to more than one place, but I leaned towards including just the one of theirs that was exclusive- as in, no one else (I know of) had been there. Did I miss any? Let me know and I`ll add them to the list.

See all my haikyo explorations in the galleries:

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Comments 5

  1. Nice roundup Mike! I had seen a couple of these through Google Alerts, but a few are still new! Looks like more and more people are venturing out and discovering great stuff. The original ones are always the best 🙂

  2. Interesting to see that there are more and more of these English language Haikyo blogs showing up. I wonder what it is about the Japanese ruins scene that people seem to find so interesting. Maybe it is something to do with the type of person that finds themselves living in a foreign country has to have a certain ‘explorer’ quality to them.

    However it does seem to me that there is a growing divide between the English language ‘new haikyo’ers’ and the existing Japanese crowd. It is a shame that people can’t find this as a reason to get along under a mutual interest but rather see it as a competition against new and old, or fad and existing etc…

    Regardless of the outcome I thank you for pointing me towards a few new blogs that I get to read on this subject, one I find so interesting.

  3. MJG – Thanks for mentioning Doggy Land! I’ll make sure to offer some more internet firsts (and seconds…) soon.

    Adam – I think it’s a general tendency in Japan that foreigners stick with foreigners and Japanese keep amongst each other. I know that there are Japanese haikyoists in my company and I tried to make contact with them, but they didn’t want me to join them – so I go on my own or take Western colleagues / friends with me. I’d love to mingle more often, but I guess it is what it is… (Oh, and this is not a competition to me. I just enjoy being outside taking pictures after spending Monday to Friday in an artificially lighted office…)

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    Mike- For sure original are best, plus odd, wacky, or grand in some way. I loved discovering (through Florian and Paul and Brian explores) doggyland and dinosaurland.

    Adam- Right, the explorer mentality. That`s what brought me to Japan, so after I decided to stay, I was glad to discover haikyo as an outlet for that roaming desire.

    About the divide between Japanese and English-speaking haikyoists, I don`t really know. I`ve never really reached out to them and they`ve never reached out to me- that`s it really. I have nothing against doing it, other than the fact that my Japanese would limit our ability to communicate. Besides, I imagine them (from disclaimers on some sites) to be unwilling to share locations. If there`s none of that basic trust, well… As to competition, I don`t see that there is any really- they got to most of the places first, but we get to show those places to the English-speaking community. We each get a scoop.

    Florian- Look forward to more firsts and seconds. Agree with you in your comments to Adam, as above. No competition, really. I love to see new places getting found. Your discoveries have revitalized me to get out there and discover more firsts myself.

    Can- My pleasure, glad you put the post up of the ski place since I took no photos.

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