Boys’ dormitory in Tokyo
There are various abandoned buildings in Tokyo, some easily noticeable from miles away others tucked away in surprisingly busy areas. I’ve kept a note of these locations over the years, but for various reasons never attempted to enter any of them before. There’s a far more dilapidated and atmospheric dormitory ruin across town (the Taiwanese one), this one however has been tucked away so well that no explorer has found it before. The likelihood of anyone getting caught trying to enter here on a normal day is pretty high, but the recent snowstorm gave me just enough cover to attempt an early morning exploration …
I have no official history to go by, but all signs point to the building being abandoned in 1994. There are plenty of calendars and dated messages on the walls and that is the year that they stop. The building above is one of two forgotten dormitories in the area. I’d explored the smaller dorm a year or so ago, without feeling much need to document it. At that time I couldn’t clearly make out the building behind it … it’s only because I‘ve made numerous trips through the area that I’ve finally remembered to take a closer look. After making my best attempt to circumvent the security camera at the entrance I headed straight for the far side of the building to attempt a bit more of a concealed entrance. The first door I came to was already open.
The majority of the building is in a dusty but stable condition, with almost all of the rooms cleared out. Dead birds and mice are everywhere. The demonic pictures above are probably the handiwork of the wanderer who broke into the building, and made it his home for a while. His life is documented in various odd scrawls in Japanese on the walls: “Part-time job, start at 4pm”, “Now I’m off to Sugamo” and “Muscle-training guy sleeps here”. There are still a few traces left of University students’ lives in some of the rooms as well including: posters, English notes, race horse ticket stubs, business cards アイアイ傘, some faded Disney characters and song lyrics.
There were a few different rooms downstairs: a kitchen, bathroom, a tatami-matted room, and a large room with a phone booth/intercom which presumably was the lunchroom.
I was able to access every room inside the dormitory, from one direction or another. All that was left was a quick look around the base, then a climb up the snowy steps to the roof for a triumphant finish. The early risers in the apartment block next door would soon be coming out to clear the snow, so it made more sense to climb down to the smaller dorm and exit that way. This building is essentially just a smaller version of the main one, again all of the rooms have been cleared out and there’s not much else to see. Winter’s definitely not the easiest season to do urban exploration, but the odd bit of snowfall in Tokyo may prove useful for some explorations once in a while.
I’ll leave the last word to the ‘muscle-training guy’.