Japan’s mass tourism boom of the 1950s and 1960s, followed by the economic bubble a few decades later, were in many ways the making of the country’s numerous hot spring resorts.
They also turned out to be their downfall.
During the bubble years in particular, ever more, and ever bigger hotels changed the look and feel of such places, and worse, when the bubble finally burst, the inevitable drop in visitors meant there simply weren’t enough people to fill all those many-roomed monstrosities. Add to that the subsequent recession, not to mention changing trends, and it’s no wonder so many of these towns are now rundown, partly abandoned reminders of their once prosperous pasts.
Below then are photographs from such a place. A town like so many others. One that was built in an optimistic past, but now remains forever stuck in a very different, and also indifferent, future.
Lovely series Lee. I really like how the faded building, faded furniture and faded miscellaneous what nots make these pictures look like they’re taken with film.
Some of those rooms look like they’ve seen some recent use with the mattress and futon sprawled out like that. Any guesses? Also what is the story with the last picture? Restaurant?:)
The first picture and wafu snack kan are definitely my favorites. Almost like the discarded appliances are welcoming someone or waiting.
Thanks a lot. Nice to hear that faded look comes through. Even better it has an analogue feel, as that’s very fitting.
That bedding I really don’t know. It was, however, in a seedier part of town, so possibly used for similarly seedy purposes…
Yeah, I really like the snack one. The single chair and table one too. And totally agree, definitely like the appliances are waiting
Thanks for sharing these very poignant photos. I like the inclusion of the views they add a lot for me.
You are very welcome.
Good to hear. The views were definitely an integral part of the hotel, so it seemed right to include them.
Oh, I really like your Haikyo content so much! Thanks for making and sharing these!
Can’t get enough of that!
When my wife and I walked the Kumano Kodo in Wakayama this year, we found an abandoned school (one of three!) in the small village of Koguchi and – of course – I had to get in there and take photos!
It was pretty exhilarating and after experiencing this I have all the more appreciation for your images and the effort behind them!
Good to hear, and you are very welcome. Exploring and photographing such places is always a treat. Just a pity I don’t get to do it more often…
Ah, schools are always very special. The silence in haikyo is always a key element, but especially so in abandoned schools. Was there a lot of stuff left behind?
Thank you. Totally agree too. Always a fascinating experience.
Richard Brooks says
The TV in the doorway.
Yes, it totally makes that shot. A real gift.
in the doorway;
they left it behind.
Another wonderful collection of beauty in ruins.
These are sort of photographs that deserve a large format book a comfy chair and maybe a drop of something to hand to fully appreciate.
For now it’s a modest monitor, office chair and a cup of coffee, and sadly, not half enough time. But non-the-less they are thoughtful escape to another time and possible future.
Thanks. That would be nice. Also nice to know they elicit the same feelings I got as we walked round. Exactly what I wanted.
During the last weeks, I browsed all of your work.
Now each new post is like a gift for me so thank you very much.
Best regards from France.
Thank you very much. That’s really good to hear. I shoot what interests me, but it’s always rewarding when other people get something out of the results too.
What year was on those calendars?
The first couple of photos were in a hotel that had calendars dated 1999.
The rooms with the mattress and futon were abandoned even earlier. The calendars there were from 1992, and January 93.
The hotel with the views, however, had calendars dated January 2012. Amazing it was still open then considering how dated it is, and obviously was.
“There. Just like new!”
I feel so much better about tackling household repairs now.
It looks like music!
Haha, I know eh? A bit of tape and “Jobs a good’un!” Well, apart from the bug hole in the top corner…
It also has a katakana-ish look about it which is fitting.