Shizuoka Explorations

Like several of my fellow explorers I’m reaching a point where all known Haikyo spots of interest in local or neighbouring regions have been visited already … forcing further trips afield and more expensive excursions. I do however believe there are more interesting Haikyos out there waiting to be discovered, so this week was a kind of test of my ability to find something new. On Monday I was able to find a decent hotel ruin in Nagano, but was foiled by security vans and was unable to enter it. This was Friday’s explorations.

Stumbling upon a site out of pure luck is the most unreliable method of finding a ruin. Word of mouth is much better … but in the absence of new leads I went out to Shizuoka to see if the Wonder Museum Haikyo was still standing. 5 hours later and I was stuck in the middle of a mountain. My bus ride into the countryside had taken me too far and I now had more than an hours walk to get back to where I wanted to be.

Discovering a nameless abandoned resort is hardly a massive find, but it was an exciting little adventure for me on the day. I noticed its dilapidated tennis courts from higher up the hill but didn’t look any further at the time. Twenty minutes later I was tempted to explore the back entrance, which lead to three greenhouses, some ruined structures and some abandoned but still powered buildings.

Fast forwarding past an exhausting walk down the mountain and (with a bit of local assistance) I see the Wonder Museum in the distance. Nothing in my way now … except, a group of local labourers camped out in front of the only entrance. I U-turned suspiciously in front of them and was forced to come back later. Whether they’d been paid to be there it or were just hanging out I wasn’t sure. The alternative way in was a tad painful but kept me away from the group out front. I was in.

I’d been meaning to pay a visit to Trick Art Museum in Japan, how odd my first visit should be a ruin. The insides were mostly cleared out, but what remained of the art inside was intriguing. The Haikyo was in extremely close proximity to a local school, no doubt because of this the ruin seemed like it was a popular hangout for local vandals. The building had been burned and trashed for everyone’s amusement … and at this rate shouldn’t be around much longer.

I had to tiptoe around the broken glass covered floors so as not to alert the builders just outside. Much better photos will be taken of this ruin, but with the time and conditions that I had, it was the best I could do. I headed upstairs to the staff quarters.

From the staff quarters you could walk right out onto the roof … a view I would’ve enjoyed much longer if I wasn’t in plain view of all the surrounding farmers. I took a brochure of the museum as a memento (there were hundreds of them lying around) and took some quick pictures of the exterior just as a new construction crew pulled up outside.

I finished the day on a high … stumbling upon the real tourist attraction of the local area (Shiraito waterfall) after following a trail of abandoned touristy buildings.


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