The Concrete Temple of Doom

Last year’s Golden Week holidays were a complete washout … stuck at home for the entire week with no opportunity to release any of the stress that had been building up over the first half of the year. This year had to be different, regardless of the latest state of emergency. I was determined to head out for at least one day of adventure … and I had a handful of leads to follow.

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A Long Overdue Return

After a year of uncertainty and inactivity, I had a haikyo itch that needed to be scratched. My hours were limited though. I didn’t have enough time to travel far from home. And I had no time to waste before getting to the location that I had in mind. An old people’s home is a fairly rare type of ruin, one that I had never come across before … after all, how exactly does a retirement home go out of business?

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Abandoned Train Tunnels in Kanagawa

9 months ago I tried – and failed – to enter a trail of abandoned tunnels which were part of the Atami/Tokaido lines in Kanagawa. I got lost in the wilderness, wasted a rare day off, and had absolutely nothing to show for it. Lesson learned. Even with all my previous conquests, there were some challenges I just wasn’t prepared for.

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Graffiti Hunting in Kanagawa


On the edge of a peninsular cliff in Kanagawa lies a curious ruin of which almost nothing is known about. It’s difficult to believe that it was intended to be a barbecue restaurant, but that’s the only theory floating around at this point. What is clear is that the building was never finished, and that in the intervening years a new kind of resident has settled in. Impossible to spot with either Google Maps or Google Earth, I took a chance to venture out and see if this ruin was still standing.

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Hachijō-jima Kokusai Kankō Hotel (八丈島)

KKH Outside

‘The Hawaii of Japan’ has a nice ring to it, which is why several islands —including Hachijō-jima— have laid claim to it. Sadly Hachijō-jima has a lot more to offer urban explorers than it does your average tourist these days. I underestimated how difficult some of the ruins on this hit list would be to reach. The main circuit around the island is a comfortable drive, but turn off that road toward the coast and you’ll be forced to drive down some pretty scary roads. The Kokusai Kankō Hotel however can be seen on the horizon from miles away, and is the only multi-storey building on this part of the southern shoreline.

After the previous days’ disgusting adventure at the Hachijō Oriental Resort Hotel I really wasn’t in the mood for any more urban or rural exploration. I’d attempted to enter this place before checking in to my hotel, and had been put off by numerous cars parked around the site and a couple of guys scoping it out. It seemed like a pretty active site, and from the pictures I’d seen, another treacherous one.

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