Monster mazes, empty spaces, pretty faces and more!

Haikyo – The not-quites and almost-weres

Today is partly a direct ‘what-happened-next’ continuation of my last haikyo post, and a bit of a clearing out of my haikyo cupboard – showcasing a range of smaller sites and finds that are interesting, but don’t deserve dedicated posts. So here they are – the not-quites and almost-weres.

The remains of this fish farm, that I found cycling back from the industrial site, are a good example. Most of the buildings are gone and just the bare bones are left now.

In its own right this site was quite interesting, but it was far more derelict than the previous fish farm we found. On the plus side, it was right next to a work shop that seems to make playground equipment and had a rather interesting selection of stuff out back.

These two places made a nice short stop, and I did find a much more interesting haikyo later that day (which I’ll write up next time), but it also got me thinking about how many places like these I’d seen.

The town I live in, like many smaller Japanese towns, is full of places left empty by declining populations and a trend to move out to bigger cities with better prospects. There’s a whole area of small wooden houses, many just rotting apart whilst next door (still attatched to the derelict) is a place that’s still lived in.

Many places that should long since have been pulled down, but have been left standing because it’d be more expensive to tear them down than to leave them standing – like this garage (looks rough from the front and dangerous from the back) or this really bad attempt that someone made at a home extension.

It’s not just in the towns though, sometimes you’ll find some small strange haikyo in the middle of the woods – or right in a city centre.

This place was a small store building connected a little lakeside temple, mud and wood structure, with a few pendents and flags still inside.

Whereas this abandoned club, in down town Nagoya, was the most interesting feature of a street that was full of haikyo (none of which were openly accessible unfortunately). There was a note pinned on the furniture/art work on street saying it was free to take – which makes me feel the owners wouldn’t have minded an UrbExer having a look around … but you have to be careful.

It can be easy to make mistakes – sometimes what looks like a haikyo from the outside might turn out to be not so abandoned on closer inspection (take note anybody whose been reading the haikyo entries and thinking – that looks like fun, I’ll give it a go!).

These HUGE greenhouses are a good example. Clearly visible from the train line I often ride, evidently broken down and very overgrown, I decided to cycle down to them and check them out, after a bit of trial and error I found the access road leading down to them. Half way down I noticed a series of wodden boxes by its side, about 5 behind me and about 5 more ahead – and just as I thought, ‘Actually, they look like kenne….’, a big dog on a chain came bursing out of the nearest one, rousing all the others, and they barked like crazy at me. Deciding it maybe wasn’t such a haikyo after all I turned my bike around and headed back… but I was so intrigued that I worked my way around behind the green houses (and took those couple of pictures). Now ask yourself this – do you see anything worth guarding with about 10 big guard dogs?? What the heck they are doing there is still a mystery to me – but the lesson is still, tread carefully!!

So – there you are. The haikyo all around us (I drive my fiancee mad, constantly pointing them out from the car – and she never lets me stop and explore), this all invasive decay and decline around Japan is a constant source of interest. The story it tells of how the people and the money are slipping away, and the questions it raises about what the future holds. Haikyo of all shapes and sizes have a social, econmical or personal story to tell … and sometimes they’re just fun!

I’ll leave you with one last small find – more of a haimono (abandoned thing) than a haikyo – two fantastic old arcade cabinets dumped next to a shrine – Oh, yes!


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