A return to Nichitsu mining town #1: The doctor’s office

Despite exploring and photographing more than a few abandoned buildings, the majority of which have been thoroughly fascinating, making a return trip to any of them has never really seemed worthwhile — except that is for Nichitsu mining town. Not though to simply tread over previously trod ground, but rather to fully explore its old school building as, on our first visit, the light was almost non-existent by the time we got there, and then what little time we did have was cut short by an unexpected encounter with security.

A nagging regret that meant another journey out there was always on the cards, but finally deciding to do so inevitably led to one more look at the the almost legendary doctor’s office. So, the next instalment will be the school, but first it’s a final tour around the mining town’s now really quite horrific medical facilities.

A scene that was surprisingly serene at first, as the (relatively) reassuring recuperation room was just how I remembered it.

Nichitsu mining town

The rest of the place though was arguably even more grim than it was a year and a half or so ago, with time having taken a further toll on the facility. And, whilst more than a few things had been moved around, it didn’t detract too much from the sights that still do more than just hint at the dangers the miners one faced.

Nichitsu mining town

All the way from minor injuries,

Nichitsu mining town

to those that were much more severe.

Nichitsu mining town

Along with a variety of equipment,

Nichitsu mining town

to help correct any complaints.

Nichitsu mining town

Plus one or two other curiosities. A few of which were, and indeed still are, far harder to fathom.

Nichitsu mining town

Although the infamous brain in a jar that once accompanied this collection has now, totally inexplicably, been taken.

Nichitsu mining town

Part 2, the school, can be seen here, but for anybody interested, arguably even more sickening things in jars can be seen here. Or alternatively, here are pictures of an old medical facility that, in my mind at least, is even more melancholy.


    • says

      Cheers. I must admit the faded colours are really suited to the place in its current state, but having already photographed it once, I wanted to try something a little different.

  1. says

    Nice job Lee. I can’t believe the rumours are true about the brain in the jar being stolen! That was going to be the highlight of my coming to japan this time *cries*. I’m going to have to gather together some friends to make the trip here myself sometime. Seems too good to leave to the jaws of time to consume.

    • says

      Thanks Mike. Yeah, it has gone. Or if not gone, at the very least hidden.

      There was also what looked like a demolition crew by some of the buildings higher up the mountain, so you might want to go there in the not too distant future. The supermarket, sento and thankfully to a lesser degree the school, were also secured as well.

  2. says

    I think you were right Lee to process these shots in B&W. When I first posted photos of this place, I chose B&W as well. Not a place where color lives anymore. I am glad I got a choice shot of the brain before some fool took it.

    Looks like your image sharpness and exposure are the best I have seen yet so far. The use of DoF with the examining table was well done.

    Funny how the most simple thing to disturb, the slippers, look like they have barely been moved for years.

    • says

      Thanks a lot Jason. As I said to S in Shanghai, my main reason for going B&W was because I’d already photographed the place, but I’m pretty pleased the way they came out, especially the third picture.

      And that’s exactly what I thought about the slippers too!

  3. says

    Fantastic as always. You say it was a year and a half ago you were there? Then I haven’t even seen the first set! Something to look forward to for me. (I’m up to December 2007 in the archives) The slippers immediately struck me as well; just as if they had fully intented to return. Shame about the demolition equipment.

    • says

      Thanks Lizzy!

      Yeah, the slippers really make the photo. As for the demolition, fingers crossed I’ve got it wrong, but I can’t see what else they’d have been doing. Whether they work their way through the rest of the town remains to be seen…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *