After a thorough search of the interior of the old onsen we headed back to the road and took a short bus journey to our second location. As Florian finally began to open up about where we were going I realized it was a site I had seen before on a number of Haikyo blogs – an apparently disused government building sometimes called the ‘Institute for Labour Research’, although my guide was skeptical that anyone really knows what it was for.
Set back a little from the main road, the site is surrounded by trees and dominated by an unusual structure at the centre resembling an air traffic control tower. In front of the entrance is a large circular opening above a vehicle entrance. All entrances were sealed off with metal sheeting topped with barbed wire. There were no signs on display and no obvious clues as to its purpose, although it was clear that someone had been coming to cut the grass and maintain the grounds.
With Florian keen to stress that he didn’t ‘do infiltration’, we contented ourselves with a thorough examination of the exterior. Balancing on a wall and peering through the windows to the left of the entrance I was able to see heavy boxes of files stacked almost to the ceiling.
To the right of the main structure and through thick bamboo, I was able to scale one of the walls and gain access to the roof. From there I could get quite a good view of the internal layout as well as a nice view of the surrounding mountains.
I would have loved to drop down into the overgrown courtyard area but decided against it as I wasn’t entirely sure I could have climbed out again!
Many thanks to Florian at Abandoned Kansai for letting me tag along for the day. Full gallery here.