Sunday, 14 June 2009

PostHeaderIcon Good Japan: Abandoned Stuff

Haikyo - 廃墟 - Ruins

About a forty minute drive down the coast from my town is a place called Muroto. It's famous for deep sea water and whales. It is located on the west cape of Kochi on the island of Shikoku and will be totally destroyed when the predicted Nankai Earthquake/Tsunami hit.

There are a few sights to see down there including a famous temple, statues, wedded rock things and the like. However, the best thing there is an abandoned restaurant at the top of the cape. I did a little bit of research (I stuck ruins+kochi+muroto into google in Japanese) and found other people who had gone there. Apparently it is called the 'New Muroto Sky Rest'. My guess is that it went under when the bubble burst here about two decades ago. I found a website ages ago that was full of pictures of abandoned hotels, restaurants and theme parks throughout Japan and that was the reason for most of them going bust. Indeed, an hour away in Noichi there is a fake castle on a hillside that used to be an amusement park.

Anyway, I have visited the restaurant a few times (I went up the spiral staircase in crutches once) but have always forgotten to take my camera. My camera failed to capture what I saw with my eyes but at least you'll get the idea. I think there are going to be a lot more of these structures reclaimed by nature in years to come... especially in Shikoku. Although it is more likely to be old schools now that the population is aging.

Fortress Muroto. A missing set from Battle Royale.

This must have been the main enkai/entertainment room because there was a stage and lots of sodden tatami mats. The coffee sign says スカイレスト (Sky Rest), 食事 (meal) and 喫茶(tea drinking/house)

The kitchen in the adajacent restaurant has deteriotrated quite a bit. This is the hobs of the main cookers. The restaurant looks remarkly small when it's empty.

Every time I go here I always want to have a quick pee but I'm scared a spider will jump at me and I won't have time to run away. Also, the desire to smash a urinal is quite hard to overcome.

Such wonderful views of the cape. This was taken in the exceptionally small and narrow staircase (1 of 3). The white statue is the monk who invented hiragana/katakana and the 88 temple pilgrimage on Shikoku. I couldn't tell you his name.

The Sky Rest comes with its very own infinity pool. The last time I went there the water was a rancid green. It's fun to throw things into it. Also, you can see this part of the roof because a whole wall has collapsed.

Each staircase has one of these horned beasts at the top of it. You can't climb up the towers because rust has eaten away at them. I like how the vines have managed to reach the top and are pulling it back into the Shikoku wilderness.
You know... most things built in 1960s Britain resemble this. The only difference is they are still used as schools, libraries and offices.

Here is a good website with some stuff from around Japan. It's in Japanese but the pictures are interesting enough.


Anonymous said...

I'm about a year too late with this info but the restaurant closed in 1975. Better

Ahoy hoy said...

1975? Cheers. I thought it would have lasted the into the 80s. I guess everyone has been leaving Kochi for years.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.