Behemothic hotel, abandoned like a beached whale

Mike GristHaikyo, Hotels / Resorts, Nagano 20 Comments

The Shin Shu Kanko Hotel in Nagano is a leviathan beast, 3 whale-sized buildings interlinked by encircling roads, interior corridors, underground passages and a long bridging escalator. The largest of the 3 is seven stories high with easily 100 rooms along its spine, with huge onsen, function rooms, izakaya and a hall. The smaller two add about another 50 rooms each, clutching up to the hill in back and spread like wings around the main complex. All of it empty, trashed, and creaking in the wind. Shin Shu Kanko looking up.

What remains of Matsumoto Castle

Mike GristHaikyo, Military Installations, Nagano 4 Comments

Matsumoto Castle in Nagano is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. A fort was first built at the site in 1504, then in 1550 the Takeda clan under big boss Tokugawa Ieyasu built it up further, with the Norimasa clan taking over stewardship from 1590, extensively reinforcing and adding to the structure. That makes it around 500 years old, no doubt one of the oldest buildings in Japan. It’s a traditional wooden structure of several levels, with the pagoda-like structure common in traditional Japanese buildings. It is nick-named “Crow Castle” for it’s black walls and spreading wings. …