Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Hotel Sekitei


The Hotel Sekitei is just a few hundred metres down the road from the Tamura Iron Manufacturing site. I drove right past it in 2013 without noticing. It's set back from the road on top of a small rise, and the sign would have been largely obscured by vegetation at the time. I later noticed it while studying the area on Google street view, and decided to explore it on my next Japanese road trip, which I did in April 2014. I saw two other love hotels nearby, both of which were still open for business, but they looked rather run down, and may become ruins themselves before too long.

The site next door to the Sekitei was being used to store gravel, and bulldozers were at work when I visited.

The architecture was typical of a rural love hotel, with separate cottages, each with an adjoining garage. At least some of the cottages had solar water heaters, an energy saving measure which I've never seen at any other love hotels. The proprietor's home and office were in a two storey building at one end of the car park.

The guest rooms were in quite good condition. They were decorated in a variety of styles, from understated to rather garish. I thought the décor was quite tasteful for the most part. The only unusual thing about the rooms was the toilets, which were Japanese-style. I've never seen Japanese-style toilets in any other love hotel. These days you hardly ever see them even in regular hotels.

Some of the floors were littered with empty cans and bottles, so people may have squatted in the hotel after it was abandoned. It's also possible that local youngsters used to hang out here when it was newly abandoned and not so dirty.

I could hear the bulldozers on the site next door working nearby while I was photographing the rooms. The sound of bulldozers is quite unsettling when you're in an abandoned building, and I couldn't entirely suppress an irrational fear that they'd come to demolish the place.

The roof above the upper storey of the living quarters was damaged, allowing rainwater to enter the rooms below. The ceilings and floors had rotted to the point of collapse, creating a scene that was both horrible and strangely beautiful. Most of the space below the upper storey was just a storage area, open on two sides. The rooms on the ground floor were under a separate roof, which still kept out the rain, so they were in much better condition.

The kitchen was filthy. If you're abandoning a building, I suppose there's no point in cleaning up first.

The establishment was once managed from this room. Amongst other things, I found an interesting selection of vintage erotica on VHS tapes. It's strange to think that Japanese women used to have black hair not so long ago.

A variety of calendars were hanging on the walls, the newest of which were for 2002, so the hotel was presumably abandoned not long after that.