Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Abandoned Municipal Building


I discovered this unusual looking building as I was driving through a small town in Akita Prefecture on my way to photograph Nametara Onsen. I had no idea what it was, but it was clearly abandoned, and looked worth exploring. One of the side doors was completely detached, and leaning against the side of the building. Another, near the end of the building, had partially rusted away, and was hanging open by a single hinge. I used this to gain entry. I didn't think that anyone would particularly care about me entering, given the complete lack of any attempt to secure the building, but nevertheless I did my best to avoid being seen.

Entering through the broken door, I made my way through a series of plant rooms and a store room until I reached an entrance to the main part of the building.

Most of the building consisted of a single concrete-floored area, which apparently served as an enormous store room. Various construction materials, signs, and such were still lying around. Seeing this I realized that I was probably inside some kind of municipal building.

The main entrance to the building was in one corner. This area had been gaudily painted and carpeted.

There was an office along one side of the building, which looked as if the staff had just left work one day and never returned. Office equipment and documents had been left behind, and some photographs of the people who used to work there still hung from the walls. A couple of computers from the Windows 98 and Windows XP eras sat on one of the desks. It reminded me of the Tamura Iron Manufacturing office. Calendars on the wall were open to August and September 2008.

This room, which I took to be a staff rest area, was near the main entrance. A calendar on the wall was open to August 2008. Combined with the evidence from the calendars in the office, it left little doubt about when the place was abandoned.

A spiral staircase led to the second storey. The walls were made of glass, so I checked that nobody was nearby before climbing up. If anyone did notice me they never did anything about it. The second storey was quite small, and only contained a couple of decaying meeting rooms. I didn't notice anything noteworthy.