Heian Wedding Hall
Heian Wedding Hall
Just like a reception centre, this place hosted Japanese wedding parties. I'm unsure exactly how long it's been abandoned, but I’m assuming about 10 years... maybe more. I'd heard from some Japanese mates that a recent fire had gutted this place from top to bottom, but I was still curious to check it out. So after driving along some picturesque country roads in Ibaraki, I reached a small farming village and spotted the wedding hall sort of plonked by a road side. I parked my car on a grassy lot near the back entrance, grabbed my camera and tripod and climbed over a pile of loose red bricks, landing in a large gutted out restaurant area (now completely covered in kudzu vine). I found a chair hanging upside down in an open elevator shaft – nice image. This once indoor area was now completely exposed to the elements (as a result of the fire), so I walked through a grave yard of charred tables, chairs and other bits and pieces and entered the ground floor foyer via a big metal door.
It was muggy and smelled dank and damp inside. Foot deep, mosquito infested water covered every inch of the floor and disused fridges and ovens were scattered everywhere (a private dumping ground for peoples used white goods). Plates, cups and cutlery floated past my feet and I think I spotted some slimy things swimming around… the sounds of the frogs and crickets rebounding off the walls was kind of deafening. Years of abandonment had essentially created an indoor swamp - a nice thriving little eco system! I made my way to the front (by stepping on the fridges and ovens) and ascended a mouldy staircase which was covered in bits of broken glass. The main hallway was littered with seat cushions and the walls were covered with Japanese street graff (weird for a Japanese abando – they are usually untouched). I took a few snaps, then entered a banquet hall and found my first plastic wedding cake - this was cool!! And then checked a few things out in some of the back rooms (just toilets and a kitchen), and moved on to the second banquet hall. This space was huge and hundreds of cute little green frogs started jumping and going crazy, also, the roof had caved in which allowed the afternoon sunlight to stream down, illuminating the green mould on the floors...it looked exquisite, kind of like a lush green mouldy cathedral for the frogs and toads. Another lop sided wedding cake sat sort of lonely on the floor so I took a few snaps and then wandered off into another hallway and found a bridal glory box tucked away in a corner (I opened it - it was empty).
Nature had totally claimed this place and turned it into an indoor swampy jungle. I loved it here and hung out for a while, then heard a car pull up outside… so I went to a window to take a peek – two men were talking about something and occasionally looking up at the building – I felt like they could see me...so I ran down a back stairwell, snuck out a window and quietly got back into my car...nice little exploration.