Haikyo – Route 303 (Part 1 – Roadside Ruins)
This will be the first of three (long overdue) haikyo updates about places I’ve come across whilst exploring my local stretch Route 303. Since about February I’ve been making irregular trip along this route, and checking out some of the branches running off it which has turned up quite a lot of haikyo goodness.
The first place that caught my eye and got me out there, was this road side diner – which I have to admit turned out to be a pretty dull shell of a building, but it did at least get me out and exploring the area.
There really was nothing inside the diner, just bare empty rooms with nothing to justify anything beyond the briefest of stops.
What I’d thought was a house standing next to it turned out to be just as disappointing, the roof having long since collapsed leaving what remained open to the elements and oddly inaccessible at the same time.
Fortunately, just a little further down the road was a more promising batch of buildings.
The building on the far right was locked tight with no way in, and to the left much of the row consisted of empty rusted garage space – but the last building on the left was open reasonably intact.
At first glance it seemed pretty bare too, but tucked away on the ground floor was one small room with a piano, and a desk cluttered with what seemed to be things that had suggested it had once belonged to a young woman.There was also a collapsing kitchen that still showed traces of the previous inhabitants.
Encouraged by this I decided it would be worth checking up stairs too.
The sheer amount of stuff left all piled up and strewn around upstairs (in contrast to the stripped down lower floor) was quite shocking. Here was a living room and a bed room just packed with personal touches.
For my money, it’s the once lived in haikyo that throw up the most interesting finds, and I can quite happily pass my time rummaging through the boxes and drawers in rooms like this… so that’s what I did! I dug up a lot of little oddities, but one of the most impressive finds was the big collection of ‘Hikaru Genji’ albums that they had stashed away (in some cases more than one copy of the same album).
Just the covers of these album were almost enough to crush me under the weight of their sheer awesomeness – ‘Hello – I love you’ (a great album title and a great chat up line too; especially if you take the fashion tip off the same cover and wear a red cowboy hat when you say it!) Well, I know you’re all just dieing to sample some of their Japanese disco goodness – so here a youtube link to a clip with music from the album on the top right of the picture… oh, and if you haven’t been tempted yet, these boys can roller skate too!
This time I’ll leave you with another favorite haikyo find of mine – old family pictures.
I don’t know what it is about found picture, but they interest me far more than they would if someone tried to show me the same pictures over tea in their comfortable house. I guess it’s the not knowing, the freedom to conjecture and speculate over who these people are (or were) and what it was that became of them – and some of these are great pictures! I think my favorite is the Homelite chainsaw company shot, there’s something so odd about the formal poses and the casually waiting chainsaws in front of them (there were chainsaw posters on the wall downstairs too).
In the end this strange roadside ruin turned out to be a much richer find than it’s exterior suggested it might be, and it got me wondering what else 303 had to offer. Join me next time for part two – featuring forgotten roads and a lost village.
Cool! When the part 2 will be out? Tnx
January 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm
Yes, sorry about the long delay on part two – my Japanese wedding reception, a mayor crash on my computer and my recent purchase of a PS3 being the main causes, but I will get around to it. I promise!
January 22, 2012 at 2:07 am
I can’t help but be so curious about part two! I ran into your blog while doing research on Yokai, and the raw authenticity of seeing sides of Japan that a tourist wouldn’t get to see, such as these Haikyo, is so intriguing to someone like me who can only imagine what it is like to live in Japan. As I have never even been to Japan, little tidbits like these are so refreshing to me than what is presented on mainstream travel sites- it makes me feel as though there is a secret Japan waiting to be discovered beneath the glamor of common tourist spots and what outwardly presented to most Americans.
July 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm