Ruin of the White Root Mine

Mike Grist Gunma, Haikyo, Mines / Factories 5 Comments

The White Root mine is old, so old that only the faintest outlines of its bones remain. Squint hard and you might see fragments of its ribcage scattered over the hillside, parts of a cracked skull just visible through the topsoil. Once it must have been huge, swathing up and down the valley and pumping out smoke, now there’s just a single slurry run and a few walls left.

I went there ages ago, on the same road trip that took me to the Gunma Ski Lift, Hume Cement Factory, and back to the Asama Volcano Museum.

Some kind of storage vat, I wager.

I was pretty disappointed with the White Root mine, to be frank. We went far out of our way, huffed for 20 minutes up an overgrown hiking trail, and found a few bits of concrete sticking out of the dirt like gravestones. I took what photos I could, but the mid-day light was so harsh that all of them came out badly. I decided they weren’t good enough to post, and wrote the place off as a bad job.

Then I tried some black and white posts on another location. Black and whiting saved the photos in that case, so I tried it again with these, combining that with HDR. What we get is a far cry from what my camera initially captured, and far more interesting to look at.

A slurry tunnel.

Inside the vat.

Underneath, a waterfall of bits of wood.

Scrubby hillsides and harsh light.

See a curation of world ruins in the ruins gallery.

See my collection of Japanese ruins (haikyo) in the galleries:

[album id=4 template=compact]

Comments 5

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  2. Wow, these photos are very surreal! Some of them don’t even look like real photographs and look more like a computer rendering. Very interesting and I love the look of these!

  3. Post

    Houma- Thanks, and yes they are a little bit computer generated, having been run through a process called HDR blending, which means combining several different exposures of a given shot into one image.

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