Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hokkou Concrete


The abandoned Hokkou Concrete plant stands amongst the rice paddies in a rural part of Chiba Prefecture. I spotted it as I was driving along a nearby elevated motorway in late 2015. Being potentially interested in all manner of abandoned structures, I made a note of its location so that I could return for a closer look when I had time.

I later returned at the end of a busy day of photography. By the time I had found a semi-legal place to park and walked to the concrete plant, it was just before sunset, and I only had time to take a handful of photographs before the light failed. I thought the place was interesting and rather photogenic, so I returned early in the afternoon of the following day for a more thorough exploration.

Absolutely no attempt had been made to secure the site. The entrance was wide open, without so much as a rope or a No Trespassing sign to discourage people from entering. I just walked right in and had a look around.

I know nothing about the history of this place, but the badly corroded state of the machinery show that it wasn't abandoned recently. Nature had begun the long task of reclaiming the site. Weeds were growing up through cracks in the concrete, and grass had become well established on the piles of leftover gravel.

The two storey building next to the concrete plant was locked, so I made no attempt to enter it.

A steel staircase led to the entrance to the concrete plant's tower, which didn't even have a door. The railing at the top of the staircase was gone, and some panels were missing from the walls, so I had to be careful. The tower's steel frame and floors were still sound however, so it wasn't particularly dangerous so long as I remained alert.

I gradually made my way towards the top of the tower, photographing each level as I went. The floor was filthy, and I noticed the dried excrement of some kind of animal on the stairs. The holes in the walls provided ample ventilation, so at least air quality wasn't a problem.

I know little about concrete production, and don't have anything to say about the machinery that's not obvious from the photographs.