by MrYogi on 17/06/12 at 10:29 am
Common Wisdom says Japan is a Tiny Island Nation crammed from shore to shore with people living one on top of the other. Every bit of spare space is used to build Prius Factories and Grow Rice.
In actuality, though, there are far more Dark Spots on the Map than you’d imagine. The general view that every square inch of Land is worth a Bazillion Dollars is just not true.
There are gaps in the Façade that whole towns have fallen into, along with Bizarre Abandoned Theme Parks, Ruined U.S. Air Force Bases and The Tawdry Remnants of Pay-By-The-Hour Love Hotels.
These places are known as "Haikyo", the Japanese Word for "Ruins" and Japan has plenty of them. Based on over six years of actively exploring these "Haikyo", here is a list of the 10 Most Beautiful, Most Historic and Most Interesting Towns.
The underground bunker haikyo by Yamanaka Lake in the shadow of Mount Fuji is one of the strangest abandoned structures I’ve ever explored. I stumbled upon this bizarre spot in an unpopulated and obscure part of the Japanese countryside while hiking. I knew nothing about its history.
At first I thought it must be the headquarters of a cult — maybe Aum Shinrikyo, the one that bombed the Tokyo subway with sarin gas in 1995. A sigil of 5 unknown logos formed a cross on the inner wall of the bunker, but none of the other explorers wandering the halls while I was there could recognize them.
Finally, the mystery was solved by a fellow explorer who had found a magazine featuring one of the logos at the location. The bunker belonged to the brokerage firm Sanyo Securities, which went bankrupt in 1999.
The town was mostly abandoned 40 years ago, the mines and factory shut down, and new standards in environmental care called for at the highest national levels.
It had been a copper mining and processing town for over 400 years. At its peak, it supplied over a third of Japan’s entire copper supply. But in the process, the nearby mountains were poisoned with sulfurous acid gas from the plant’s smelters.