Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Twin Minshuku Ruins


I found these two abandoned minshuku (guest houses) by a rural road in Hokkaido in August 2014. They were about 100 metres apart, at opposite ends of a large, weed infested car park. A large concrete slab and a pile of broken old timber were all that remained of a third building. There were some old appliances and other rubbish lying around, so the some of the locals must be using the site as a free garbage dump.

The first place was called the Sanchou Minshuku (三朝民宿). The front door was unlocked, so I just walked in and started taking photographs. There was a large hole in the roof, allowing rainwater to enter and cause extensive damage. The parts of the building that had stayed dry were still well preserved.

A lot of personal effects had been left behind, including a large quantity of clothing, much of which was haphazardly strewn around. One room was so full of jumbled piles of assorted stuff that I couldn't enter. Other rooms were almost empty.

The second minshuku was a bit bigger than the first, and was surrounded by dense vegetation on three sides.

One end of the ground floor was used as a storage shed, which was piled high with junk. The entrance to the rest of the building was around the side, and I had to break through some thick undergrowth to get to it.

The building felt a little rickety underfoot, but the interior was in reasonable condition, so the roof must have been more or less waterproof. A small extension at the rear of the building had partially collapsed.

A calendar on the wall was open to December 2000.