The 6 Most Abandoned Places In Japan

Discover Japan’s Secrets: The Most Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Places

We welcome you on a journey through time as we explore some of Japan’s most illustrious abandoned places. As we delve into these hauntingly beautiful relics, the forgotten stories of their pasts unfold. These places capture the eerie beauty of decay, echoing the transience of life, a poignant theme in Japanese culture.

Are people even interested in deserted locations? In fact, abandoned schools, hotels, amusement parks, islands, and cities are becoming increasingly attractive. And Japan has no shortage of them. Tour enthusiasts around such locations have their own vocation. Set off on a voyage with Oyakata Master to uncover the dark corners of the Cherry Blossom Country.

Gunkanjima: The Battleship Island

Credit: Wodniack

Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, as it is widely known due to its distinctive shape, is an enigmatic testament to Japan’s industrial history. Once a bustling mining town with the highest population density in the world, it now stands in desolate splendor. Its abandoned concrete structures and crumbling walls paint a captivating picture of the inexorable march of time.

The island is known for its significant role in the industrialization of Japan, serving as a rich source of coal. The abrupt closure in 1974 transformed it into a ghost town, but its legacy has been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hashima Island: The Relics of a Forgotten Time

Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima, was once the richest place in the world, per square foot, due to its thriving underwater coal mines. However, the switch from coal to petroleum caused the mines to shut down, leaving the island deserted and letting nature reclaim its territory.

The Hachijo Royal Hotel: A Majestic Ruin

On the tropical island of Hachijo-jima lies the decaying splendor of the Hachijo Royal Hotel. Once a luxurious retreat for Tokyo’s elite, this grand structure has succumbed to nature’s relentless onslaught. It serves as a silent reminder of the rapid economic growth that followed World War II, and the equally rapid decline that ensued as cheaper travel options became available.

Read more about this abandoned hotel

Gulliver’s Kingdom, Yamanashi, Japan

Credit: Mike Grist

One of the world’s creepiest abandoned amusement parks in the world, read why this amusement park ticks as one of Japan’s most abandoned places –

Nichitsu: Japanese Ghost Town

Nichitsu is a well-known urbex website. The town was created as a result of the neighboring mine, whose workers began to reside in the area. When coal was popular, the population was around 3,000. However, the raw material’s importance faded with time, and the town declined.

The younger generation inherited the houses left behind by Nichitsu’s former residents. But no one had any intention of returning to the abandoned town, let alone caring for the rotting inheritance. People who had hopes for a better future in the city left their goods and never returned to Nichitsu. The costs of securing or dismantling the old buildings had to be borne by the state.

Nara Dreamland: Play Of Dreams

Credit: Tokyo Weekender

The 1961 amusement park, inspired by California’s Disneyland, used to be a source of laughter and joy. Until 2006, visitors could experience the rush of steep roller coasters, spin on marry-go-rounds, gaze at a reproduction of “Main Street, U.S.A,” or indulge in cotton candy and waffles. However, the once-thriving amusement park has become a haunting location. The forlorn view of Nara Dreamland now inspires anxiety and terror.

Read more about Nara Dreamland here

Conclusion: Embracing the Beauty of Transience

These hauntingly beautiful abandoned places in Japan exemplify the Japanese aesthetic concept of ‘Mono no Aware,’ the appreciation of the fleeting nature of life. These sites tell stories of glory days long past, serving as poignant reminders of our own mortality and the ceaseless passage of time.

As we step into these untouched landscapes, we find beauty in the stark silence and the grandeur of the decaying structures. These places embody the journey of life itself — a journey marked by the rise and fall, echoing the poignant and heartrending beauty of life’s transience.

Experience Japan through its hauntingly beautiful abandoned places, and discover the secrets they hold. Each place is a time capsule, a page from history that’s waiting to be turned. A visit to these places isn’t just a tour; it’s a step back in time.

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