Due to its prime location right by a lake, guests at the Sansuisou Ryokan, in Saitama Prefecture, would have had the rather enviable option of a gentle saunter by the water’s edge before breakfast.
Plus, should they have felt energetic enough afterwards, maybe even a meander around the nearby mountains.
But whilst it may not look all that inviting now, at one time it must have been really quite welcoming.
And, along with its looks and location, it is also quite possible it played some kind of role in the local farming community, as the lake itself was built in 1935 as an agricultural reservoir in response to the Great Depression. Changing times, however, meant that despite its surroundings, the number of visitors slowly dwindled, culminating in the inn’s closure in the late 1990s. A situation that, combined with a relatively cursory clear up, has resulted in a fairly sparsely furnished haikyo, with not a great deal more to photograph than snake-like shower fittings,
and beds in which one wouldn’t really want to lounge about in for any longer than was strictly necessary.
But that said, like practically all abandoned buildings, it also contains a considerable number of chairs — pieces of furniture that were happily used by visitors during the hotel’s heyday to enjoy a few lively drinks,
or a decidedly quieter dinner.
The latter in particular once offering an ideal opportunity for guests to enjoy inobuta, the Ryokan’s speciality, which is a hearty hybrid of pig and wild boar.
Now, however, these chairs are either unceremoniously stored away,
or are left where they were last used.
Some of them still arguably suggestive of the conversations they once witnessed.
Whereas others, somewhat strangely considering they are merely functional pieces of furniture, look somehow rather lost.
And indeed lonely.
Almost as though they are silently waiting for someone to sit on them, or alternatively for something to happen.
Neither of which is the least bit likely.