A couple of weeks ago I posted photos of an abandoned mansion belonging to an imprisoned billionaire. Admittedly it’s a place like no other, but it’s also an absolute world away from the rooms below, providing a stark reminder of how different people’s lives can be depending on birth, luck and outside forces.
When trying and failing to get into another abandoned hotel, we spotted this one up the hill. Its bleakness was striking, and things proved to be similarly desolate once inside. Unusually it was also a hotel that at some point or other had been converted into apartments. When that was I don’t know, but calendars in a couple of the rooms suggested it stopped being used in any way, shape or form in the very early 2000s.
Being late in the afternoon on a grey and snowy day, the light was fading from the get-go, and some of the rooms had no windows at all which limited shooting even further. One rather unsettling room within a room was packed full of kids clothing and toys — the only space on the upper floors that looked like its inhabitants had left in any kind of hurry. All the others were very much like the ones in the photos. Mostly empty, but with signs of life that were suggestive of how tough that existence may well have been.
In regards the photos, they are presented in the order I took them. From approaching the building to making our way up to the top floor. On ground level was the vending machine in what was once the lobby, and just off to the side was a kitchen and small living space which was possibly home to the person in charge. Maybe even the owner. The ninth image and onwards are all on the higher floors, culminating in a large living space at the very top which appeared to be several rooms repurposed into one. The chair left behind, however, suggests that unlike that aforementioned billionaire’s mansion, it was about as far removed from a penthouse as it’s possible to get.
Super interesting and I can’t get enough of that vending machine. Today I smoke! But man I feel bad for the people who had to live there…….
Cheers, and yes, they definitely don’t make vending machines like that anymore. Couldn’t agree more, must have been grim to say the least.
It is very bleak and creepy to me. I’m not sure I could have entered but I’m pleased you did. Thank you!
You are very welcome. It was definitely bleak, but at the same time really interesting. Just wish we’d had more light that’s all.
Paul Diamondd says
Yup, this is totally an incoming horror flick. Primarily disturbed by the dial phone. Traveling in Japan since 1984, don’t remember seeing one, though I could be wrong.
It really is eh? I’ve seen lots in abandoned places, but several actually still in use ones in little bars and restaurants. That ring is as distinctive as ever when a call does come in.
Incredible photos as always, Lee. Thanks for sharing and for, quite literally, a look into what seems like another world. With what’s going on right now and all the travel restrictions, I’m enjoying these posts even more. I’ve found myself going back through old ones, often handing my iPad over to my wife, saying she has to see the photos and read the stories.
I hope you’re safe and well. Take care.
You are welcome, and thank you very much for the kind and encouraging words. Hearing things like that really is special. Makes it all even more worthwhile.
Cheers. Doing ok thanks all things considered. I hope all is well with you. Fingers crossed those restrictions will start to ease soon.
As Darryl said, looking at your photos and reading the comments is something I’ve enjoyed for ages. Before Covid, I was always too skint to get to Japan (one day!) so the photos are a great way of ‘seeing’ Japan whilst I save up. I also feel like I know a little more about the real Japan rather than the touristy parts.
Anyway! Eerie photos! Wonder why they left? The second photo of the curtains (?) looks like a face on the left hand side. Nightmare fuel!
That really is good to hear. The touristy bits are good, but living here I’m lucky enough to have the time and opportunity to go beyond them. Over time I’ve found theses other parts far more interesting too. Hopefully you’ll be able to experience both in the not too distant future as well. Even Japan with its incredibly strict border controls has to one up again eventually.
Yeah, those curtain are something else. The perfect entrance in many ways. Don’t know to be honest. It was bleak, but structurally it still seemed sound even after all these years. One possibility I suppose is that there was planned demolition (or refurbishment), but for some reason that never happened.
Nice find. I like the way the different curtains tell of apartments rather than hotel rooms. The kitchen is co-ordinated and looks large compared to some I have seen in Tokyo apartments.
Highlight? Not the phone this time, no, it’s the pink knob on the Paloma water heater. Try as I might I can’t find that as an option for that or any similar model. A personal addition, or a Japanese special version I wonder.
Lives and stories swirl around your photographs.
Thanks a lot. Exploring such places is always a treat, but even more so when it’s a completely chance find.
The kitchen was presumably once used by the hotel staff, which would perhaps account for it’s comparatively decent size. The pink Paloma knob though is a completely mystery. A bleak hotel special edition perhaps!
Hello and in this new year may your projects succeed. I hope you are well, my thoughts go out to you very often.
What is the region here?
A photo poem, which could be accompanied by a haiku :
Pour ceux qui sont partis
Pour ceux qui sont restés
La neige fond toujours
Thank you very much. Doing ok all things considered thanks. I hope it’s the same with you, and all the very best for the coming year.
This was out in Gifu prefecture, hence the snow. A world away from Tokyo that’s for sure.
Afraid I had to use translation software, but it was still beautiful. Very fitting as well.