Tag Archives: haikyo

Abandoned Towns and Cities of the World

Standing as stark reminders of a people’s past endeavors and hopes for the future, thousands of abandoned towns and cities can be seen around the world–some like silent, dusty museums, some little more than markers left in remembrance.
Standing as stark reminders of a people’s past endeavors and hopes for the future, thousands of abandoned towns and cities can be seen around the world–some like silent, dusty museums, some little more than the wood or stone markers placed in remembrance.

Yet, each speaks volumes of another time.

War, superstition, famine, earthquakes,religion, man-made disasters, shifting values, fire, disease, failed economy, and hurricanes have all played their roles in reducing thriving, prosperous cities to mere rubble and models of waste.

From Hong Kong to France, Turkey to Chile, here are ten of the countless  abandoned towns and citiesthat still speak loudly of the people who once called them home.

> The Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong: Abandoned 1993

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A former watchpost to guard against pirates, the Kowloon Walled City was built just outside Hong Kong, China during British rule. Occupied by Japan during World War II and subsequently taken over by squatters after Japan’s surrender, neither Britain nor China wanted responsibility for the deteriorating metropolis so it became its own lawless city. Flourishing for decades, it became a place where brothels,casinos, opium dens, cocaine parlors, vendors serving dog meat, and secret factories ran rampant.  It was finally torn down in 1993 after British and Chinese authorities grew wary of the out-of-control population living in filthy conditions.

> Pripyat, Ukraine: Abandoned 1986

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Now a mere ghost town near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine (in the Kiev Oblast [province]), Pripyat was founded in 1970 specifically to house workers of the nuclear power plant. Officially proclaimed a city in 1979, it achieved a population of nearly 50,000 before being forced to abandon it in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster.

> Oradour-sur-Glane, France: Abandoned late 1940s

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The site of one of the most horrific war atrocities in French history, the small village of Oradour-sur-Glane was the scene of a massacre perpetrated by the Germans who’d planned to punish members of the French Resistance. Intending to target nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres–instead of Oradour-sur-Glane–German soldiers marched in and disposed of 642 civilians on June 10th, 1944. According to a survivor’s account, “The men were herded into barns where they were shot in the legs so they would die more slowly. The women and children, who had been held in a church, all perished when their attempt to escape was met by machine-gun fire. The village was razed by the Germans afterward.” Today, the ruins at Oradour-sur-Glane stand as a memorial to the dead and as a reminder of that event.

> Sanzhi district, New Taipei City, Taiwan: Abandoned 1980

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With construction beginning in 1978, the Sanzhi UFO houses (also known as the Sanzhi pod houses or Sanzhi Pod City), were a set of pod-shaped buildings owned by Hung Kuo Group, marketed as a vacation resort for U.S. military officers coming from their East Asian postings. The project, however, was abandoned in 1980 due to investment losses and several car accident deaths occurring during construction, said to have been caused by the unlucky act of bisecting the Chinese dragon sculpture located near the resort gates during the widening the entrance road. (Another story pointed to the fact that the site was the former burial ground for Dutch soldiers.) Despite an online petition to retain one of the structures as a museum (and it becoming the location of an MTV film on the subject), demolition on the site began on December 29, 2008, with plans to redevelop the site into a tourist attraction with hotels and beach facilities at a later date.

> Kolmanskop, Namibia, Africa: Abandoned 1956

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Located a few miles inland from the port of Laderitz in Namibia, Africa, Kolmanskop was a wild and dangerous German-built diamond mining town which thrived until 1956 when diamond demand declined and richer sources of diamonds were discovered in other areas of Africa. Once offering a German style ballroom, theater, and the first tram system in Africa, the shifting sands have now filled the houses, covered the streets, and is slowly erasing most signs of civilization. Now nearly sand-bound, the abandoned city is said to be a habitat for birds, hyenas, and other wild and feral animals.

> Kayakoy, Turkey: Abandoned 1923

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Once a thriving Greek village dating to the 13th century with 25,000 inhabitants, the town was completely deserted when its entire population–along with millions of other Greeks in Turkey–were forced out of the country due to the Greek War of Independence in 1923. Since then, the village has stood empty and deteriorating. Kayakoy is cited as the largest and most well-preserved ghost village of Asia Minor.

> Craco, Basilicata, Italy: Abandoned 1960s

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The medieval village of Craco, Italy, was built on a very steep summit to utilize its natural defense against invaders. Over the centuries, however, the village lost residents due to a plague, French occupation, civil war, and finally, lost the majority of its population due to near-famine in 1892 and 1922. The final blows were earthquakes in the 1960s which forced the remaining occupants out of the city. It now sets completely uninhabited, with a number of old world churches such as Santa Maria della Stella standing as reminders of what once was.

>Tyneham, Isle of Purbeck, south Dorset England: Abandoned 1940s

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Referred to as “the village that Dorset lost,” the British Ministry of Defense commandeered this town on the Isle of Purbeck during World War II to use as an army base, with citizens promised they could return to their homes after the war ended. But they were never allowed back in. Lying now in ruins except for the schoolhouse and church that still stand relatively untouched, a poignant sign on the church still reads, “Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.”

> Klomino, Poland: Abandoned 1992

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Built solely as living quarters for the Russian Army, Polish officials have been trying to dispose of the village of Klomino for years now–last on the market for 2 million dollars. Due to lack of interest, most of its remaining buildings have been demolished, with locals destroying the remainder. It has set quietly waiting repopulation since the Russian Red Army withdrew its forces in 1992.

> Humberstone, Chile: Abandoned 1961

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A booming town from the 1920s through the early 1940s, Humberstone enjoyed wealth and prosperity due to the mining and processing of nitrate, also known as “saltpeter.” Once synthetic saltpeter was invented, however, the town fell into economic decline until it was finally abandoned in 1961. Now encased in sand, the town has been named a World Heritage Site and will most likely be preserved as an historical monument.





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11 Terrifying Images of Old Soviet Playgrounds

11 Terrifying Images of Old Soviet Playgrounds

 Ransom Riggs

 Actually, they’re playgrounds from the former Soviet Union, where people were good at making a lot of things — tanks, rifles, factories to make tanks and rifles — but cheerful playground statuary clearly wasn’t one of them. The following playgrounds give me nightmares as an adult; I can’t imagine the many ways they might warp the imaginations of children.

Perhaps this play sculpture from Moscow is meant to impart a lesson: never crawl into a hungry dragon’s mouth.

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More Photos of Abandoned Cities (haikyo)

As an ongoing interest I post pictures of abandoned areas which have their own creepy art to them.  The form of photography is sometimes referred to as haikyo, or ruins, in Japanese, based on the original photographs of the abandoned amusement parks there.

Haunting Photos Of Abandoned Cities Around The World

There are more abandoned cities than you’d think. But they’re also probably at least as creepy as you would imagine in your nightmares. Take a look at these ghost towns and get even more close and personal with Chernobyl Diaries, Now Playing. posted on May 4, 2012 at 6:07pm EDT

Haunting Photos Of Abandoned Cities Around…

Chernobyl Diaries

Pripyat, Ukraine
Site of the infamous Chernobyl incident, the entire city had to be abandoned in 1986 due to nuclear radiation.

Sanzhi District, Taiwan
The “Sanzhi UFO houses” were a major development project for some pretty unusual-looking vacation homes, which was abandoned in 1978 before it could be completed. The site was demolished in 2008, and is now being redeveloped.

Craco, Italy
Craco was a medieval village built high up on a steep summit for defensive reasons, but recurring earthquakes eventually made it impossible to sustain. Today, less than 800 people live there in a commune, while the majority remains eerily uninhabited.

Kolmanskop, Namibia
Formerly a bustling diamond mining town, after the market declined, inhabitants began leaving the town after WWI; by 1954, it was completely deserted. As it was an enclave for German colonialists for many years, the architecture is not only out of place, but its abandonment enhances it even more.

Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Oradour-sur-Glane was a village destroyed by a German military unit in 1944, killing 642 of its inhabitants. Although a new village was built nearby to replace it, today the original village stands as a memorial.

Centralia, Pennsylvania
Centralia was once a prosperous mining town, but in 1962 a mine fire broke out, which continues to burn off the coal underground to this day. As a result, its population is 10 as of 2010, making it one of the least-populated municipalities in Pennsylvania.

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Fantastic Post-Apocalyptic Visions of Tokyo by ‘tokyogenso’

Fantastic Post-Apocalyptic Visions of Tokyo by ‘tokyogenso’


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Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth


It doesn’t matter how beautiful are the new tourist destinations, those that are curious will always go to visit some historical places, and when those are abandoned and not touched by the human hand for a long time, they become a mysterious riddles.

Abandoned Isle, Netherlands

Abandoned Beautiful Places25 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth


Abandoned City Near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, UkraineAbandoned Beautiful Places24 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Boat from 2nd World War, Homebush, AustraliaAbandoned Beautiful Places23 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Railway Station in PolandAbandoned Beautiful Places22 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Mysterious Road Kerry Way, IrelandAbandoned Beautiful Places21 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Abandoned Castle from 15 Century, Black Forest, GermanyAbandoned Beautiful Places20 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Asunción, ParaguayAbandoned Beautiful Places19 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

“El Hotel del Salto”, ColumbiaAbandoned Beautiful Places18 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Underwater Bronze Statue of Jesus Christ, Mediterranean Sea, ItalyAbandoned Beautiful Places17 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Hall, West WelshAbandoned Beautiful Places16 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Abandoned Building for Distillation, BarbadosAbandoned Beautiful Places15 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Abandoned Domes in South-West FloridaAbandoned Beautiful Places14 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Body of Crashed Plane, AntarcticaAbandoned Beautiful Places13 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

A Structure in CambodiaAbandoned Beautiful Places12 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Fishermen House at Lake, GermanyAbandoned Beautiful Places11 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, EnglandAbandoned Beautiful Places10 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Abandoned House in Namib DesertAbandoned Beautiful Places9 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Sea Supervisory Houses in EnglandAbandoned Beautiful Places8 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Mill in FranceAbandoned Beautiful Places7 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of EarthBulgarian Communist Party HouseAbandoned Beautiful Places6 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of EarthAbandoned Mill from 1866, Sorento, ItalyAbandoned Beautiful Places5 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Part of Olympic Object for Olympic Games 1984 in Saraevo

Abandoned Beautiful Places4 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Old Factory for Russian Rockets in RussiaAbandoned Beautiful Places3 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

Abandoned Tunnel of Love in UkraineAbandoned Beautiful Places2 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth

 Abandoned Theater in ChicagoAbandoned Beautiful Places1 Top 25 Most Amazing Abandoned Corners of Earth


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20 Haunting Pictures Of Abandoned Asylums

20 Haunting Pictures Of Abandoned Asylums

Abandoned mental asylums litter forgotten landscapes across the world. But these spooky buildings don’t compare to the fright you’ll experience inside the notorious Briarcliff Manor, the setting of American Horror Story: Asylum. Whet your macabre appetite with these haunting photos, and commit yourself to American Horror Story: Asylum. Wednesdays at 10p only on FX.

[My personal note – In Japan, ruins are known as haikyo (廃虚?) (literally “abandoned place”).  There is a growing interest in Haikyo exploration and photography if you are also interested in the eerie coolness of things falling apart.  I have posted other posts on this, including abandoned Soviet Union cold war facilities and abandoned amusement parks.]

1. Cane Hill Asylum (England)

Cane Hill Asylum (England)

2. Henryton State Hospital (Maryland)

Henryton State Hospital (Maryland)

3. Whittingham Asylum (England)

Whittingham Asylum (England)

4. Stone House Hospital (England)

Stone House Hospital (England)

5. Norwich State Hospital (Connecticut)

Norwich State Hospital (Connecticut)

6. South Carolina State Hospital (South Carolina)

South Carolina State Hospital (South Carolina)

7. Hart Island Women’s Asylum (New York)

Hart Island Women's Asylum (New York)

Via io9.com

8. Pennhurst State Hospital (Pennsylvania)

Pennhurst State Hospital (Pennsylvania)

9. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (West Virginia)

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (West Virginia)

10. Kings Park Psychiatric Center (New York)

Kings Park Psychiatric Center (New York)

11. Pilgram State Hospital (New York)

Pilgram State Hospital (New York)

12. Severalls Hospital (England)

Severalls Hospital (England)

13. Hellingly Mental Asylum (England)

Hellingly Mental Asylum (England)

14. Northampton State Lunatic Asylum

Northampton State Lunatic Asylum

15. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital (New Jersey)

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital (New Jersey)

16. Linda Vista Community Hospital (California)

Linda Vista Community Hospital (California)

17. Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Kentucky)

Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Kentucky)

18. Lier Mental Hospital (Norway)

Lier Mental Hospital (Norway)

19. Traverse City State Hospital (Michigan)

Traverse City State Hospital (Michigan)

20. West Park Hospital (England)

West Park Hospital (England)


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Haikyoist Art – Photos of Ruins and Decay

This example of Haikyoist photography is reposted from the blog at:


There is a Ghost House on my street


And I am feeling so inspired, I think I might have to photograph it and become a certified Haikyoist.

No-I didn’t know what was either. Basically, it is someone who explores and photographs abandoned properties. But this is no ordinary haunted house style-stuff. Instead, Haikyoists like Michael John Grist explore the forgotten places. This is a hobby I can completely understand, although I’m not sure I can even describe what makes it so compelling. It’s a gut thing.

Here’s how Grist defines Haikyo. “Haikyo’ is a Japanese word that simply means ruin, or abandonment. They’re the places that fell between the cracks; the old mining town in the mountains that died when the copper seams ran dry, the outlandish theme park that failed when the Bubble burst, the US Air Force Base abandoned to nature’s brambles.” (via)

Part of Haikyo, at least according to Grist, is the interaction between spaces abandoned by people, and what happens, naturally, as they are reclaimed by the world around them. I know it’s much more than just the fact that I am visiting Nara in a month that makes me so drawn to Grist’s Nara Dreamland series.


Grist says that “Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing…Nara Dreamland opened in 1961, inspired by Disneyland in California. For 45 years its central fantasy castle, massive wooden rollercoaster Aska, and corkscrewing Screwcoaster pulled in the big crowds. By then though it was outdated, and dying a slow death as Universal Studios Japan (built 2001) in nearby Osaka sucked all the oxygen out of the business. It closed its doors permanently in 2006.” (via)








Why do I want one of these cable cars for my house?

Grist spends time in other Japanese haunts too, and there is plenty to see in hisRuins Gallery.


An abandoned Jungle Theme Park in Izu.


In fact, it’s difficult to not show you more and more and more.


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