Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hotel Bluebird


The Hotel Bluebird was an abandoned love hotel by a wooded road in Shizuoka Prefecture, which I explored on a cloudy afternoon in December 2015. I later researched the Hotel Bluebird online, in the hope of finding out something about its history, and discovered that it features on a number of Japanese "haunted places" websites. The hotel is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who was murdered there.

There have been a few homicides in love hotels over the years, so the story of the murder is not inherently implausible, but I was unable to find any references to it from trustworthy sources. The websites that mention it just repeat the rumour, without providing any verifiable details. I'm inclined to believe that someone just invented the story to make a slightly creepy abandoned love hotel seem more exciting. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, please let me know.

The hotel itself was an unremarkable white structure, partially obscured by vegetation. It probably looked inviting in its heyday, but when I saw it the damp, mouldy, crumbling walls were thoroughly unwelcoming. There was a well maintained car park just down the road from the hotel, but there were no other buildings nearby.

The road in front of the hotel had a moderate amount of traffic, but that didn't overly concern me. I just slipped in through the front entrance when there were no vehicles in sight. The place had clearly been abandoned for a long time, and I doubt that anyone would have cared about me having a look around.

The hotel's office was at one end of the building, near the entrance. The rest of the ground floor consisted entirely of the guest car park. Each room had its own parking space, which bore an illuminated sign showing the prices and a photograph of the room. A private staircase led directly from each parking space to the room above. The hotel had ten rooms, all of which cost ¥4,000 for a "rest" (typically two or three hours), or ¥6,000 to stay overnight.

There was a lot of garbage lying around the car park. Illegal dumping is common in Japan, and abandoned buildings make convenient garbage dumps.

A long driveway led from the rear of the car park to a discrete exit on a side road. This would have been a better way to enter the property without being noticed, if I had known about it.

The car park was a mess, but the interior of the building was much worse. I couldn't even climb the first few staircases that I tried, because they were blocked by debris. Once I found a way inside, I discovered that the entire hotel had been strewn with the most garbage that I've ever seen in an abandoned building. It was impossible to move without stepping on garbage, and most rooms were such a shambles that I didn't even try to enter them. Vandals had also smashed holes in the walls and ceilings, and broken a lot of the windows.

It was a profoundly unpleasant sight, but at least it didn't smell too bad. Nearly all the garbage was thankfully inorganic, and since most of the windows had been broken or left open, there was plenty of ventilation.

Due to the terrible conditions and limited time before nightfall, my exploration of the interior was more cursory than usual. From what I managed to see of the guest rooms, they were typical of the accommodation found in rural love hotels. They were a little small, and I didn't notice any special features, but they would have been pleasant enough when the place was open. The décor was on the quiet and tasteful side.

I didn't notice any calendars, or anything else that would indicate when the place was abandoned. I didn't see any sign of the rumoured ghost either.