Haikyo – Ski Lodge
This was another accidental discovery. During an Autumn walk we spotted this place at the bottom of an overgrown slope. I managed to persuade my non-haikyoist friends to stop and briefly check this old ski centre out. However, with the light fading, a long way to go and only me really interested I had no time to really explore.
Luckily, a couple of month later I was back in the same area with more willing friends and managed to get them to make a more thorough search with me.
The building is divided into three parts that all have to be assessed individually. The first is the equipment store – which is still packed with gear.
In fact it’d be easier to think that this place was just off-season until you look around a bit more and notice the collapsing roof and the impossibly rusted scissors.
I couldn’t help but wonder if this was originally intended to be a temporary shut down and that the owners had intended to reopen later. It does seem incredible that a company would knowingly leave so much equipment behind when closing down for good, but having been to several more haikyo since I now realise that this isn’t uncommon and it is sometimes really shocking what gets left behind.
The second area is the restaurant and kitchen on the upper floor of the main building.
As this was mostly one big, bright and open space it didn’t take so long to explore, which just left the lower floor of this building. This was also the hardest to access, though we finally realised that one door wasn’t locked – simply weighted from the other side and with some pushing we managed to get it open.
Inside was a mix of public and private spaces; offices and staff lockers, toilets and resting areas. Despite calenders several years out of date on the walls, this building was generally in quite good condition. The booking office in particular, with all the keys still hanging on the pegs, had a ‘we’ve just popped out for lunch’ feel to it.
I like the shot of the phone. Fiddling around with the fuse boxes I found out that this place had never had its power turned off, and I managed to get several lights working in the back rooms. I love the idea that a similar mistake might have been made with the phones and that by chance a call could come through while you were there.
Since then I’ve always taken a photo of a phone if I’ve seen one – the more derelict the better – for me they somehow symbolise the haikyo itself: something that should have been cut off along time ago and yet somehow stays connected to us, whispers from the past.
An extended Ski Lodge gallery can be seen here.
Japanese mountains seem to be a great place for haikyo, especially since they get less and less snow. The Ski Resort on Mt. Hiei (you didn’t mention the location the text, but it’s visible on one of the pictures so I guess it’s okay to name it…) was the third I found – time for a winter sports special soon!
November 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm
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