Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Assorted Honshu

This site usually features thorough explorations of places that interest me. However, I sometimes visit places briefly and take only a few photographs. This may be due lack of time, because a place is inaccessible, or simply because it's not interesting enough to merit a lengthy exploration. These quick visits aren't enough for their own articles, but some of them are worth seeing, so I decided to combine them into this little compilation.

LDK 56 Steam Locomotive

I saw this small steam locomotive outside a steak house in May 2004. Apparently it's a LDK 50 series tank engine, which was once used by the Taiwan Railway Administration. I couldn't find any significant information on this locomotive in English, but the Japanese version of Wikipedia has an article on it.

Snoopy Blimp

It's not often that you get a chance to see a Snoopy-themed blimp up close. I came across this one while driving through Saitama Prefecture in October 2013.

Disused Excavator

I noticed this long-disused excavator by the side of the road as I was driving through Tochigi Prefecture in October 2013.

Abandoned Car Wash and Restaurants

I found this trio of failed businesses while driving through Tochigi Prefecture in October 2013 - a car wash, a ramen shop, and an udon and soba (noodle) shop. A "Land for Sale" sign was attached to the fence in front of the car wash, but it had been there so long that the telephone number had faded to near illegibility. Presumably the owner had long since given up hope of finding a buyer. It was late in the day, so I only had time for a quick look. I didn't attempt to enter the buildings.

Abandoned Tourist Trap

This building once catered to tourists visiting Lake Akimoto in Fukushima Prefecture. When I visited the area in October 2013 it has obviously been closed for some years. It was still locked up however, so I made no attempt to enter.

Delicious Foods Ramen Shops

I drove by this abandoned ramen shop shortly before nightfall as I was exploring Akita Prefecture in April 2014. I didn't try to enter, but I took a few interior shots through a broken rear window.

The next day I found another defunct member of the same chain. Other branches may still be in business, but I have yet to see one.

Birth of a Motorway

This site usually features scenes of decay and collapse, so I decided to show something under construction for a change. I took these photographs in Wakayama Prefecture in December 2015. Although I have made extensive use of Japan's motorway network on my travels, I have my doubts about the wisdom of devoting such vast resources to its expansion. The civil engineering involved is extremely impressive, however.

London Buses

Somebody must have imported a load of old London buses into Japan at some stage. I saw one by the roadside in Kanagawa Prefecture in October 2013.

A few days later I saw another bus near Lake Tazawa in Akita Prefecture. It was raining heavily at this time, and starting to get dark, so I didn't get out of the car to take any photographs. I planned to photograph it on the return leg of my journey, but I ended up taking a different route home, so I didn't get the chance.

In April 2014 I saw a third bus being used as a cafe in Akita City.

Overgrown House

I saw this overgrown house next to a convenience store in Kanagawa Prefecture. It was probably disused, but the occupant may just be an eccentric who likes being surrounded by vegetation. In Japan it's not entirely safe to assume that a house is abandoned even if it's starting to fall apart.