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Haikyo / Ruins Abandoned Ski Lodge
(Entered Dec. 24, 2009)
  Recent Haikyo/Ruins:

The Japanese term 'haikyo' (meaning ruins) implies a certain amount of weathering, age, and decrepitude; some have more than their fair share, but others have almost none at all. So new looking was this ski lodge that we happened to stumble across, that at first we assumed it was still operational, just waiting until the beginning of winter to open again for the ski season. I say stumbed across because we were actually looking for a mine, which we found eventually, and which ended up being pretty uninteresting. Luckily the ski lodge and its surroundings made up for that.
Like I said, we were unconvinced it was abandoned at first, but upon closer look we found a few broken windows as well as some easy access points, so we made our way inside.

ski lodge haikyo ruins

The we I refer to is of course me, MJG, Lee and Gak. This was the last of four haikyo we managed to complete on our trip which included the Volcano Museum and T Cement Factory.
You can see how very unhaikyo-ish the inside is as well. If it wasn't for some small clues of neglect and abandonment, you might think the place was abandoned only days ago. Calendars and newspapers pointed to it being a few years old however.

ski lodge haikyo ruins inside

The problem with newly abandoned buildings is there is nothing really photographically interesting about them, well at least from a haikyo perspective. The place was massive, but I only snapped a few pictures. It was basically a collection of large, empty, and surprisingly clean rooms.

ski lodge haikyo ruins inside

Literally thousands of skis, boots and poles were left behind, I guess not valuable enough for the bankrupt ski lodge to try and unload.
I know what you're probably thinking. 'Hey, this isn't a haikyo! You broke into a real ski lodge!'

ski lodge haikyo ruins skiis

Trust me, it was abandoned. The basement of the building finally provided a bit of hard evidence that the owners were probably not coming back, the lower levels of buildings always being more susceptible to mold and rot than the upper levels are.

ski lodge haikyo ruins basement

I'll be honest, I wouldn't have even bothered posting about the ski lodge if we hadn't climbed up the ski hill (in search of the mine), and found an old, rusty, and much more photogenic chairlift.

ski lodge haikyo chairlift

The weather was cool, the air was fresh and the views were stunning. There was another chairlift going up another, much higher mountain whose peak you can see on the right side of the below picture. if you look carefully you should be able to make out another smaller lodge which we thought about hiking up to, but as it was already getting late we left it alone.

ski lodge haikyo ruins chairlift

We had already been up to, and had a look around the old mine (the original purpose of coming here) at this point, but only a few old concrete walls remained. While walking around up there, Lee and I found fresh bear scat on the ground, a reminder that while Japan may be small and overpopulated, it actually does have some dangerous wild animals.

ski lodge haikyo ruins chairlift and lodge

I didn't even have to apply any tilt shift effect to the below photo, it already looks like a miniature model.

ski lodge haikyo ruins lodge miniature

No doubt this will be a fantastic haikyo in about 10 years time, but until then, it's kind of like a green banana that needs some time to ripen. Still, the fresh air, lack of people, and beautiful views from the surrounding hills made it all worthwhile. Just watch out for those bears!


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