Like the Rekio Hotel and Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel I visited some years back this building was another casualty of the Okinawa Expo construction boom. The structure was built on a previously uninhabited island, known to the locals as ‘Dolphin Island’. Several decades of weathering have taken their toll on the structure, washing away almost everything that could be used to identify it. Nobody seems to remember the name of the building either; the only scraps of information remaining are a fragment of an address (2319), and the rumour that the building was never completed. So what kind of business could they have built on a tiny island like this? If it wasn’t a hotel then what could it be …
This is the third part of my Okinawa explorations, see parts one and two below.
Day Three Along with Sports World the Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel is one of only a handful of ruins in Japan on the scale of a small village. Such is its grand positioning on the hillside the hotel can be seen from literally miles away … my first response upon seeing the ruin, something along the lines of: “Woah!” Originally scheduled for opening to coincide with the World Fair Expo ’75, construction of the hotel was never actually fully completed. The conglomeration of construction companies in charge went bankrupt shortly before the Expo, and despite numerous talks to organise its demolition, it survives to this day. The ruin is well known throughout Okinawa, and has been used in tv shows and music videos, such as Miyuki Nakajima’s single Taka Ga Ai (See it here)
This is the second part of my Okinawa explorations, see part one below.
Day Two The Rekio Hotel was built around the time of the Okinawa Ocean Expo. In that decade there was a boom in hotel construction, hoping to cater for the influx of tourists. Many people did come, but not enough to sustain the hotel’s business long-term. Demolition costs for the hotel are said to be too expensive, and the current owners / shareholders can’t sell it … leaving it in limbo.
From a ruins perspective Okinawa is not a goldmine of locations. The excess and extravagance of the construction from the bubble era looks like it never extended to Japan’s southern most prefecture. Small shops and houses aside I’d say there are around ten unique ruins to find scattered around the island, and no more. I found four, including the largest ruin I think I’ll ever explore (more on that in the next post). Due to its heavy rainfall, strong winds and natural disasters the state of the buildings in Okinawa is generally dirty, run-down, and faded. In short, large areas of the island looked like they were in a state of a ruin. Driving around the island, trying to spot ruins from a distance … was impossible. My usual alertness for finding ruins was completely useless here, I had to rely on the locations I’d found from my research.