Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hillside Restaurant


While driving through Nagano Prefecture, I came across an old snow plow parked at the side of the road, and stopped to take a few photos. I soon noticed some abandoned buildings nearby, and naturally decided to check them out.

The first building was once the office for a camp ground, according to a sign that was still attached to its remains. Most of it had collapsed, and I thought it unwise to enter the part that was still standing. I proceeded past a pleasant little mountain stream, and what appeared to be an old outhouse, towards a ruin that I saw further up the hillside.

It turned out to be a long abandoned two storey restaurant. It was built on a steep slope, and the entrance was on the upper level. An ancient vending machine still stood next to where the front door used to be.

The upper floor felt a little rickety, but it held up under my weight as I explored and photographed. The establishment consisted of a number of small private dining rooms, all of which were Japanese style. Most of the building's furniture and contents were gone, and I didn't notice anything particularly noteworthy.

The floor at the bottom of the stairs had collapsed, so I walked downhill around the side of the building to get a look at the lower storey. It was in a much worse condition than the upper storey. The floor joists had rotted away, leaving the tatami mats drooping over collapsed floors. It was too dangerous to enter, but I managed to take some photos through the windows. If I'd seen this storey first I might have thought twice about entering the building at all.