Okawa Grand Hotel Haikyo, Izu

Mike Grist Haikyo, Hotels / Resorts, Izu 13 Comments

The Okawa Grand Hotel in Izu was remarkable for the perfectly clean, skimmed and filtered swimming pool set between its two tropically ruined buildings. Shut down for at least twenty years but still plastered with signs to rent or sell, the owners clearly still have high hopes for it. In every room you can hear the lapping of the sea on the rocky beach. As we left, a gang of kids moved in to use the pool.

The ruins of Sports World Water Park

Mike Grist Haikyo, Izu, Theme Parks 10 Comments

The Sports World Water Park in Izu is a well-hidden gem in the crown of Japan’s abandoned theme parks. Tucked away from the main theme park down a slim passage over-awed by rabid weeds, it gallops down the adjoining valley’s steep side in a furious rush, its brilliant blue umbilical water-slides snaking and inter-twining through the verdant green jungle canopy. Around its circumference the huge oval water-flume meanders bleached-white through pathways furred over with prickly weeds. Jutting up from its center and half-eaten by scraggly brush, the five-story speed-slide stands like a silent sentinel over the withered park, its roller-flumes …

The haunting ruins of Sports World

Mike Grist Haikyo, Izu, Theme Parks 50 Comments

The Sports World haikyo occupies an idyllic position at the crown of the Izu peninsula, overlooking a wide swathe of richly forested mountains and valleys. In its heyday it was a sports and relaxation haven, featuring tennis courts, miniature golf, a dive pool, restaurants, a hotel, a huge wave pool, a spa, and a gym. It was abandoned in 1993 as the economic bubble burst, and has lain untended for 15 years. Now its many tennis courts are visited only by skateboarders and grafitti artists, up-turned cars line its once broad thoroughfares, its wave pool is coated with red rust …