Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘House’ Category

Abandoned embassies are not exactly common finds in the urbex world, yet the deserted embassy of Iraq in Berlin has become kind of a tourist attraction, mentioned in several guides to Germany’s capital. For seasoned urban explorers like myself quite a weird experience…
The area around the Tschaikowskistraße (German for Tchaikovsky Street) in Niederschönhausen is dominated by mansions with large gardens, built about 100 years ago; the road itself leading up directly to Schönhausen Palace, a baroque palace dating back to a villa originally built more than 350 years ago. One exception is a small offspring of the Tschaikowskistraße, including the infamous number 51 – home to the former Iraqi Embassy in the German Democratic Republic a.k.a. East Germany. The area consists of half a dozen buildings constructed in 1974 by the Kombinat Ingenieurhochbau Berlin. The GDR was (in)famous for their huge plattenbau style architecture, simple designs built with prefabricated concrete slabs – and the new houses in the Tschaikowskistraße were no exception. Well, they were smaller and modified (inside walls were brick-built!) to suit the purposes of their new inhabitants: the ambassadors from France, Italy, Australia, Poland… and Iraq. After the collapse of East Germany those countries needed only one embassy in the now reunited Berlin, so they gave up the so called “Diplomatenviertel von Pankow” (Diplomats’ Neighborhood of Pankow), named after borough Niederschönhausen is located in. While the other nations packed their stuff, left and gave back the premises they were located on… the Iraqis just left. Background is a paralyzing mix of the complicated legal circumstance (there are different versions of who owns the land, the building and the usage rights) and a total lack of interest in resolving the situation; apparently neither Germany nor the Iraq are lifting a finger when it comes to Tschaikowskistraße 51. And so the building just stands there from early 1991 on – when the diplomats left due to the Gulf War and accusations that the embassy had been used as a weapons and explosives storage. As time went on more and more people had a look at the deserted embassy, then people started to take “souvenirs” – framed photos of Saddam Hussein, visas, documents, books, even parts of the interior furnishing. At the same time people started to vandalize the building; smashing windows, graffiti, arson. Then the press picked up the topic and in 2003 even the New York Times ran a piece about it. With no security, no police patrolling and nobody really caring about the building, dozens of regular Berlin tourist from all over the world show up there every day with a taken-for-grantedness bordering arrogance – something I wasn’t aware of when I finally reached the embassy; and a state of mind I am not used to as a seasoned urban explorer treating both the locations I visit as well as fellow explorers with all due respect.

The first thing I realized upon arrival at the former Iraqi Embassy In The German Democratic Republic was the fact that the surrounding buildings were occupied by a company called AiF Projekt GmbH, with no hint what this company was doing. The partly boarded-up embassy was located maybe 5 meters away from the street on the 5000 square meters big property – the only apparent way in and out a slightly opened lattice gate. Unaware of the complex ownership situation and the touristy reputation of this clearly rundown building, I tried to evaluate whether or not it was worth taking the risk of entering straight away in broad daylight, when a retiree walking his dog came up to me. We were having quite a nice conversation in which he was telling me all about the history of the embassy and the similar buildings right across the street, about his life in the GDR and how the powers that be couldn’t care less about the condition of the embassy, when all of a sudden a woman in her late 40s, early 50s interrupted. With an obnoxious voice and an even more obnoxious arrogant attitude she questioned basically everything the man said, because she read about the place in a tourist guide and did some research of her own – basically calling the poor old man a liar and storyteller. The poor fella really took it to heart, getting red in the face, starting to shake involuntarily… and then he left, but not after voicing that he wished the place was gone and that he would love to call the police 20 times a day. Which I totally understood, because I have to admit that I hardly ever met an argumentative person like that in my whole life, especially not since I moved to Japan where a dis(s)cussion like that is completely unheard-of.
Slightly worried whether or not that nice old man would call the police from pure spite and hatred for that strange woman, I entered the embassy through an open door – only to realize that the place was a mess, one of the most rundown and vandalized locations I have ever explored, a real piece of trash. The architecture and the style of the building was like nothing I would ever be able to see while exploring in Japan, so I got my camera ready and started to take some photos, when I ran into that middle-aged woman from before again, outside on a balcony. I cut the conversation short as she was desperate to get my confirmation about how she was right, not just with the arguments she had, but with the way she presented them. So I basically fled to the upper floor… where I ran into three guys of questionable looks – halfway between squatters and drug addicts. What the heck was going on here? They approached me in English and we had two minutes of meaningless small talk. Luckily they weren’t squatting druggies, just British tourists; though one of them way clearly drunk and most likely high! Down at the ground floor again, I stepped into main hallway, when I saw a teenage girl coming down the staircase while another middle aged woman (wearing a too tight skirt and flip-flops!) was blaring “See, now they are creeping from their holes!” at us in German as if we were a bunch of cockroaches, before leaving with her Cartman looking son. Seriously, WTF? There was an endless coming and going of random people, something I’ve never seen before – I easily met more people at the former Iraqi Embassy In The German Democratic Republic in the hour I spent there than in five years of serious urban exploration in Japan! I wasn’t even able to shoot a decent video without anybody yelling or walking through background; Christian Bale most likely would have gone nuts! After an attempt or two I approached the latest group of urbex tourists, a handful of French twens, and told them that I intended to shoot a video that could end up on Youtube… and they were like “Yeah, we don’t mind being seen or heard in it, just go ahead!” – I still tried to avoid people, but you will see / hear some of them in the clip at the end of this article.

“Interesting” is the kindest word I was able come up with to describe my experiences in Berlin… in general. Back in the early / mid-90s the Iraqi Embassy must have been one of the most exciting abandoned places in the whole world – untouched, full of items left behind, 20 years of intense history. Now it’s an involuntary tourist attraction, vandalized and overrun, from urban exploration as far away as infiltration. What a shame…

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

Abandoned looking houses are everywhere in the Japanese countryside – but just because they look abandoned, doesn’t mean that they are abandoned. Better safe than sorry, so if deserted private homes are your thing, I recommend visiting one of hundreds derelict villages in Japan… like the Yamanashi Ghost Town!
Some of my urbex friends love abandoned houses. I usually don’t. Exploring them, there is a certain amount of voyeurism involved, far beyond the usual level, as those places are a lot more personal than shared spaces like hotels, amusement parks or hospitals. Most of the time interesting items are in drawers, behind closed doors… and I don’t like to go through other people’s things, that’s when urbex becomes borderline burglarizing to me, even if you don’t break something getting in and don’t take something on the way out. There also is an uncomfortable sadness to them – the people there left their houses, probably family homes for generations, and they often left personal things behind; letters, photos, diaries, …

My buddy *Hamish* and I were actually looking for an abandoned school when we found this little ghost town in the mountains of Yamanashi prefecture, off the beaten tracks and barely connected to Japan’s regular road system, given the condition of some stretches. At the same time we were very sure that the area was really abandoned, which made it easier to enter some buildings without knocking first. Most houses / huts were in rather bad condition, but two or three of them looked like there still might have been living somebody; but just from the outside. All buildings seemed to have many visitors before, including some who enjoyed going through stuff, which was scattered all over the floors. An abandoned hairdryer here, some old soda / juice cans there. The biggest surprise probably was a wooden box in a barn, once containing rindless cheddar cheese from Australia, a country not exactly famous for dairy exports. I also loved the last building we explored – the pink main door lead to a stinky hallway full of garbage, but when we entered through the living room, we gained access to an amazingly lit part of the house with lots of decay and animal feces; very challenging to shoot due the difficult natural light though.

Overall the Yamanashi Ghost Town wasn’t a terribly exciting location with spectacular views or items, but much like it’s rather famous counterpart *Mukainokura* it offered another glimpse into the past – items of daily use, how houses were built in Japan 50, 60, 70, 80 years ago… the hardships of making a living in the mountains. One impressive proof of that I found when I made a last attempt finding the previously mentioned school – instead I came across a series of hand-built levelled fields on a slope next to a river, probably the main source of fruits and vegetables for a whole village most likely abandoned in the 1970s…

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

The Fuji 5 Lakes area consists of Lake Yamanaka, Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Sai, Lake Shoji, and Lake Motosu – forming an arch around the northern part of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture. Famous for hiking, mountain climbing, sailing, fishing, the Aokigahara Suicide Forest, Fujikyu Highland and local udon noodles, this recreational area two hours outside of Tokyo attracts about nine million visitors per year… and many of them enjoy a soak at an onsen in the evening. Of course not all of those public baths can be successful – bad for the owners, good for explorers like me and readers like you…
The Fuji Five Lakes Onsen is a surprisingly rare location and apparently virtually unknown to the Japanese urbex scene. It’s actually easier to find information about the time when it was open for business than about its current abandoned state; hence the rather vague fake name for it. The place was actually not just a day trip spa (charging 300 Yen for the time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.), it was also a ryokan, a Japanese inn for overnight guests. Located next to a river in a tiny mountain town, the Fuji Five Lakes Onsen turned out to be a hidden wooden gem, a glimpse at Japan’s simple past that is disappearing quickly.

At 7,000 to 10,000 Yen per person and night the FFLO wasn’t exactly a cheap place to stay at, especially considering that it closed about 10 years ago. I am sure back then it was easily possible to get a more luxurious accommodation for a lower price – but probably with a lot less character. The main building of the Fuji Five Lakes Onsen was a narrow, but rather long wooden construction – followed by small apartments in the backyard along the river. After ten years of abandonment rather wobbly and squeaky, the main hallway wasn’t for the faint of heart, especially with road construction going on right outside. If we were able to hear them scavenge the street, they were able to hear almost any noise we made. Luckily they weren’t aware of *Hamish* and I being there, so they didn’t pay attention; a huge advantage on our side and a late reward for us approaching the Fuji Five Lakes Onsen carefully, avoiding any noises getting in.
The tricky part was the upper floor with its tatami party room. Regular readers know what kind of place I mean – the big one with the stage and the karaoke machine and stuff like that. What was so tricky about it? Well, the upper part was actually on road level, so the construction workers were able to look inside through some of the windows… if they would have paid attention, which they didn’t. Good for me, as the party room held some interesting items to take pictures of, including some 60s or 70s music devices and a Konami Hyper Shot controller for use with the smash hit Hyper Sports.
Down on the main floor again I took some photos of the pretty run down onsen part, the gender-separated shared bath. Surprisingly small, it must have offered a nice view on the river a few decades prior. Now the huge windows were mostly overgrown from the outside and vandalized by penis graffiti from the inside – the whole room felt rather cold and inhospitable on this beautiful autumn day.
The half a dozen guest “houses” in the back looked a bit like an afterthought and some were already in quite questionable condition. The eclectic conglomerate was big enough for about 30 people, with each hut hosting a family or a carload full of friends. Been there, done that… and the light was disappearing quickly.
What made the Fuji Five Lakes Onsen such a memorable exploration was the simplicity of the place. No shiny modern kitchen, no ten-storey concrete building, no spa area the size of a football field, no arcade, no elevators – just plain wooden buildings, a handful of guest apartments and an almost underwhelming shared bath. The most modern item probably was that controller for said Konami game, every other item there most likely was from the 70s, 60s or even 50s.
The last couple of places I presented on *Abandoned Kansai* were not very Japanese at first sight, especially locations like the *Western Village* or the *Hachijo Royal Hotel*… but the Fuji Five Lakes Onsen is as Japanese as it gets!

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

The Japanese love fishing – not just whales and dolphins, but in general. When I grew up, I saw short bits on TV about swimming pool like fishing ponds in Tokyo, right next to trains rattling by. Now that I live in Japan, I see anglers at almost all bodies of water, especially in the countryside – even in the mountains at 600 or 700 meters of elevation.
Karuizawa is a small town of about 18,000 people in Nagano prefecture, just two hours outside of Tokyo by car; or half that time when using a Shinkansen super express train. While never hosting Olympic games by itself, Karuizawa was host to the equestrian events of the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics and to the curling events of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, making it the only place in the world hosting events for both Summer and Winter Olympics. But even without this little know fun fact Karuizawa is a really lovely town on the base of the active complex volcano Mount Asama, mostly consisting of small houses on surprisingly large parcels of land, surrounding a gorgeous small city center with lots of German, French and British influence; if there ever will be a Japanese remake of Groundhog Day, it should be filmed in Karuizawa!
Attracting predominantly Japanese tourists from Tokyo trying to escape the dreadful summer heat or looking for some skiing fun in winter, Karuizawa offers all kinds of outdoor activities.

A fishing park just outside of Karuizawa offered retreats for companies, universities and youth groups; adding tennis courts, a gateball court and a community center with pool billiard and karaoke to the list of recreational activities. Not much of it is left these days – a couple of rotting buildings as well as some left behind items.
What elevated this exploration and made it quite memorable was another encounter with wildlife; a fox this time, to be more specific. My exploration buddy Hamish and I were just entering the lower level of a barn like structure (see photo…) when we heard animal footsteps from the floor above. We took a couple of photos of the missing floor and the building in general when out of nowhere a fox came running down the broken wooden stairs and right at us. Not knowing what to do we just looked at each other, when the fox all of a sudden realized that he was not alone. In a 1960s cartoon like move he made a full break, turned around, sped up again and tried to escape through a window next to the flight of stairs… BOOM! The window was closed. Another try. Boom. And up the stairs he went, apparantly uninjured. Bursting into laughs about what just happened we continued to shoot for a while, when Hamish went out to the open again – seconds later the fox appeared, much more careful this time, seeing me and retreating again; it seems like he had been looking through a glass door and thought we left when he saw my buddy. Afterwards we left for good and never saw each other again… happy that it was such a shy creature and not some rabies ridden calf mangler!

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

Nichitsu is a legend amongst Japanese urban explorers, a world-class ghost town that attracts visitors from all over the country and even overseas. In day trip range from Tokyo (but not from Osaka!), this mostly abandoned mining village in the mountains of Saitama prefecture is famous for its huge variety of abandoned structures crammed into a single valley – countless mining buildings (some still in use, even on the weekends!), several schools, a hospital, a gymnasium, a vast residential area and who knows what else.

After exploring a cute little regular ghost town on a sunny Sunday morning, my buddy *Hamish* and I arrived in Nichitsu to grey weather and low hanging clouds; at one o’clock, totally underestimating the vast amount of buildings to explore – though even a full day would barely be enough to see everything there, let alone document it properly. To make the best of the situation, we avoided the rather busy lower part of the valley (with company cars parked as well as a group of explorers arriving) and headed for a small parking area used by hikers. From there we wanted to find out what all the fuzz was all about… and it didn’t take us long!
Given the rather active area we passed through just minutes prior (feeding the rumors about security) as well as the fading light even rather early in the day, I decided to take a first video of what I thought was everything there was to see in that area – then we started to explore buildings on a sample basis as it was pretty clear that less than 4 hours of daylight remaining wouldn’t allow us to see everything anyway. From the very beginning it was close to impossible to take indoor photos without a tripod as exposure times quickly reached up to 30 seconds in darker areas of buildings.
A school, an office building, several private houses (ranging from completely empty to fully stocked and suitcases packed), a small fire station and some other structures later we reached the area at the end of the first video – only to realize that the really interesting buildings were still ahead of us and just seconds away; including a gymnasium and the now mostly collapsed hospital! Crazy…
With less than an hour of daylight left, we kept shooting and shooting and shooting, but even test shots to frame pictures properly took painfully long (as you might or might not know, I don’t even crop my photos). The last building we found was the hospital, of course, and despite the conditions we both managed to take a couple of decent shots – overall it was a bit disappointing though as it didn’t even come close to its reputation or similar places, like the *Tokushima Countryside Clinic*.
Overall the Nichitsu Ghost Town totally lived up to its reputation… and given that I didn’t even enter a mining related building means that another visit is in order – probably sometime in 2015 as I am pretty sure that Nichitsu will see some snow soon, rendering parts of the village inaccessible (then I will tell you more about Nichitsu’s complicated history, too…). The white stuff in some of the videos and pictures definitely wasn’t snow! Maybe some kind of gypsum? Solid when dry, it became viscous when in contact with water – I am sure during a typhoon you can watch it flowing down slopes and roads, slowly suffocating the lower parts of Nichitsu…

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

No matter what you think of marriage in general – weddings in Japan tend to take it to a whole new level, in many regards…
I actually don’t even know where to begin. Maybe I should just shut up, describe the building and get out of here before I write things I might regret later. To be honest with you, I am not exactly the most qualified person to write about weddings as I am not married myself and had to turn down most invitations in both Germany and Japan as I was coincidentally in the other country when they happened. But damn, Japanese weddings are weird!

First of all – getting legally married in Japan is the most unspectacular thing ever. It just takes a few minutes and involves the almighty seals (hanko) of both partners, but not necessarily their presence; one is enough as long as you have the correct documents to stamp. The way more important and spectacular part is the religious ceremony and the party afterwards; or rather parties – three or four (in a row!) are considered rather common.
At a time that Christian nuts are taking over the States and Muslim nuts are taking over the Middle East, the Japanese are very relaxed when it comes to religion. 85% are considered Buddhists, 90% are considered Shintoists, and 1% are considered Christians. “But… Florian, that doesn’t add up properly!” you might say – and you’d be correct! But that’s just part of the craziness, because according to statistics, 53% of Japanese couples marry in a Christian ceremony, 32% in a Shintoist ceremony and less than 1% in a Buddhist ceremony – the rest choose to marry in a secular or other way. Most men couldn’t care less, but Japanese women are basically like: “They nailed that Jesus guy to a cross? Funny, that’s what we did in Japan with Christians for most of the 17th, 18th and 19th century… But whatever! I want that white dress and I am getting that white dress!” (That’s actually not true. Most people in Japan aren’t even aware that their government persecuted Christians for centuries. But it’s only logical when the leader of the country legitimizes his power via their own religion, Shinto.) Most marriages end in ignorance and selfishness, why shouldn’t they start with it?
In Germany you still have to jump through quite a few hoops before being able to getting married in a church – like having several meetings with the local priest, convincing him that you are a dedicated Christian; and of course you better be a registered member and pay church tax! None of that in Japan, of course… most Japanese Christian weddings don’t even take place in real churches!
Since most Japanese live in tiny apartments not suitable for huge parties, most weddings take place at big hotels or specialized places; like the Ibaraki Wedding Palace. There they have decorated rooms for the most common ceremonies; like a love hotel has rooms for whatever turns you on… Comparatively small rooms, as only close family and a few best friends are attending those “religious” ceremonies, then everybody else joins for a rather big party; instead of choosing a considerate gift you pay an “entrance fee” that’s usually between 8000 and 10000 Yen – the couple will let you know in advance… Since Japanese weddings cost about 4 million Yen in average (though common ones are rather half that price!), that first party can be huge. 80 to 100 people are nothing, I’ve heard of friends inviting up to 250 people. And I’ve been invited to weddings of people I barely knew, in one case I actually never met the wife before! With all the fakeness surrounding Japanese weddings one can only hope that the couple’s love is real…

Anyway, the Ibaraki Wedding Palace… was one of those specialized wedding places – but unlike the *shangri-la* it didn’t come with hotel rooms and a pool, it was just a wedding and party venue. In the early 2000s it must have been quite a sight, with tons of tableware and items like fake plastic wedding cakes left behind. Since then it became a victim of arson and several clean-up operations, so when Y. told J. and I that this would be our next location after visiting the gorgeous *Japanese Vintage Pornographer’s House* I couldn’t believe what I heard. That piece of crap? After one of the most gorgeous locations in all of Kanto? Of course I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to be impolite – and I am glad that I didn’t, because despite the Heian Wedding Palace being a rundown, burned down pile of garbage, it also offered an amazing amount of details; textures, to be more specific. Bent metal beams, charred window frames, tacky colored glass panes, cheap plastic chandeliers. Hardly anything that would deserve the label “beautiful”, but interesting enough to keep me busy for half an hour – then we continued to the third and last location of the day…

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

Like many other countries, Japan struggled with religion and its negative attending ills many times. In 794 the capital was moved from Nara to Heian-kyo, modern day Kyoto, when Buddhist clergy became too powerful and the Imperial household decided to break free from its influence. In the early 17th century Tokugawa Hidetada and Tokugawa Iemitsu struggled with Christian merchants and missionaries so much, that the Sakoku Edict of 1639 turned pre-modern Japan into North Korea 0.9 – more than 200 years later, religious freedom was restored, the total power of an absolute leader was abolished and the country opened again for modernization, trade and travelling. Since World War 2 a more moderate country in many ways, Japan had to dispel only two religious groups for criminal activities in the past 70 years: Aum Shinrikyu after their sarin gas attack at the Tokyo subway in 1995… and Ibaraki’s Myokaku temple for financial fraud – welcome to the Japanese Gold Cult!

The whole story started back in 1984, at the same time when Aum Shinrikyu was founded. The superintendent priest of the Myokaku Temple in Chiba prefecture established a company that sold aborted fetus bodhisattva. In 1987 he established a religious enterprise called Hongaku Temple and started to sell all over Kanto, before becoming an independent temple in 1988. Soon after, the Consumer Affairs Agency started to receive complaints and temporarily shut down business. Unimpressed, the gold cult bought the Myokaku Temple on Mount Koya in Wakayama prefecture to expand its business to Kansai – which at that point included spiritual consultations for 3000 Yen and performing memorial services for 1 million Yen (back then and currently more than 9000 USD!) as well as selling overpriced item like marble vases and items made from gold. Center of the scam were the ihai, spirit tablets believed to hold the souls of deceased people – the cult took care of thousands of them and placed them in two special buildings at the Myokaku temple; but obviously they didn’t take of them in a proper way, hence the fraud accusations. In December 1999 a Wakayama district court finally followed the Agency for Cultural Affairs request to dissolve Myokaku / Hongaku Temple – the organization subsequently lost a legal battle for survival in front of the Supreme Court.
Sadly and surprisingly I couldn’t find anything about the case in English or German, so I had to piece together above information from various very complicated Japanese sources; please feel free to correct me if I misunderstood something! (My knowledge about Buddhism is limited, so I tried to avoid specialized terminology when possible… and I still don’t know what happened to Mount Koya’s Myokaku temple.)

After hiking through the mountainous Japanese countryside for about an hour on a hot, sunny spring day I finally reached the headquarters of the former Japanese Gold Cult:  a cluster of about half a dozen buildings – and after climbing a rather long and steep flight of stairs I reached a regular looking building that probably was used for meetings and as living quarters. To the right, past a pond and a collapsed gate, there was a comparatively small storage house – nothing of interest. Up another small flight of stairs I found the main hall, which was hard to miss at it was by far the biggest building. Almost as good as new, with lots of dark corners and significantly colder than the outside, it felt kind of strange being there. Solo explorations are always a lot more nerve-wrecking than group explorations… but this location had a spiritual / religious component to it, obviously. I don’t believe in ghosts and I am not religious at all, nevertheless there is some awe-inspiring element to a lot of those institutions – graveyards like the Okunoin, cathedrals like the Kölner Dom… and abandoned fake temples like this one.
The main reason though why explorers from all over Japan travel to the middle of nowhere are two small buildings behind the main hall, in which the Japanese Cold Cult stored all the ihai – and the bling-bling of gold and black lacquer was indeed quite impressive and worth the long trip from Kansai!
I just had entered an official looking, administrative building, probably the one where visitors were welcomed, when I saw somebody outside through a window – so I left through the back without taking any video material or interesting photos. The parts I saw were small offices and a main room full of boxes and random items, not of interest.
The last building looked like a big, chaotic family home and was probably used for meditation. Since it was pretty much busted open, nature was taking over again and parts of the floor were rather soft and brittle. Again, items were scattered all over the place, as if somebody was looking for valuables without finding anything.

Three hours after my arrival I left with a heavy heart as I had an afternoon flight to catch. Exploring the headquarters of the Japanese Gold Cult was a weird and unique experience. On the one hand I felt a bit uneasy as I was exploring a crime scene solo, and the garden there wasn’t out of control (which means that somebody still had an eye on it), on the other hand it was such a tranquil and beautiful place, the peaceful atmosphere disrupted only once in a while by farmers tilling their nearby fields. The Japanese Gold Cult had been kept a secret for about a year or two – now that Japanese explorers gave away too many hints and its exact location kind of became common knowledge, I really hope that people will keep respecting it. Not because it’s a (fake) sacred site, but because it’s a beautiful and unique abandoned place that deserves respect!

(*Like Abandoned Kansai on Facebook* if you don’t want to miss the latest articles and exclusive content – and subscribe to the *video channel on Youtube* to receive a message right after a new video is online…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »