Grim Visages from the Future

Grim Visages from the FutureThe big difference from a zombie apocalypse and some regular old plague apocalypse is that at least with the undead, you’ll never be alone. Granted, this may not be very comforting seeing as how the undead will wish to pull your arms and legs from their sockets and then eat them, but at least you’ll never be “alone” unlike your typical apocalypse.

Think about it for a second. When a plague wipes out everyone but you, our grand magnificent cities will be like a tomb, stifling and oppressive. All the things that you love about New York City or Boston will be the very things that will suffocate you in your new solitary life. Speaking as someone who has watched his college gone from a wonderful center of learning to a post apocalyptic nightmare (I’m speaking of the period when the school was abandoned – not now), all I can say is that it will take a supreme act of will to traverse our modern ruins without feeling the tremendous weight of a loss.

That said, one such photographer appears to enjoy doing this very thing. He lives in Japan, and spends his free time visiting the ruins of abandoned cities or otherwise known as haikyo. The following site is a photo essay of all top ten abandoned places that he has visited and believe it or not, some of them look quite new. There’s even one place with a fully assembled Wooly Mammoth skeleton and what looks to be an almost working amusement park. Here’s is take on one of the ruins:

Sports World is a massive theme park, featuring a hotel, large mini-golf course, gym, dive pool, wave pool, swimming pool, log flume, speed flume, triple tube-flume, and inner-tube rushing river, all in ruin. It was built in 1988 and abandoned only 10 years later, falling prey to its out of the way location and its proximity to the then-new Disneyland.

It’s an explorer’s dream come true, 20 years abandoned, overgrown, but still relatively intact, set in a truly gorgeous forested mountain area. There are terrifying screaming monkeys and birds at night, models on fashion shoots by day, and all manner of ways to entertain oneself clambering, clowning, and investigating the rest of the time.

Sports World was the first haikyo I overnighted in. I brought along a tent and arrived under cover of darkness. I ended up sleeping on the tatami mat floor of the park’s fairly pristine abandoned hotel. The next day I awoke to a breathtaking view of rolling forested mountains to the horizon, a view unseen by anyone for years. That’s why I go to haikyo.

Are we seeing a glimpse of our future and if so, do you believe you have the strength to live in it? We can all adapt to new situations and events but the real question is: would you want to?

10 Japanese Ghost Towns ( <- new window)