Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Derelict Store, Ōokayama
I found this shop the other week right near my daughter Cocoa's kindergarten in Ōokayama, one stop from our place on the Oimachi Line.
Ōokayama is full of some interesting old architecture, some of it condemned and falling apart - like this particular gem, apparently a Singer Sewing Machines store in its time.
Anyway, I went back there yesterday just prior to picking up Cocoa and took these photos.
The place is open to the street, yet - as per most Japanese derelict abodes - no squatters have ever lived there, and it looks like it had a party only once recently in the form of a two-litre bottle of shōchū that I discovered upstairs.
The building is completely collapsing and probably a dangerous place to explore when you're not exactly a featherweight gaijin, but I found these closet doors (above left) covered in what looks like old '60s or '70s clippings.
The tatami mats are still there but water-logged and buckled up, and there are gaping holes in the floor and ceiling; thank god it was decent weather.
The two flights of stairs were death-traps in-the-waiting but still supported me in both directions. In the drawers were old clothes including kimonos, but no sewing machines that I could find.
The toilet downstairs was one of the ugliest I've yet seen, easily out-rivaling the worst JR station loos, and the lack of decent reading material made it even less attractive. I didn't take too close a look at the hole itself.
There were the remnants of shōji doors with torn and ripped washi paper, electrical cables dangling from the ceiling, and the feeling that even the ever-present Tokyo cockroaches had renounced this place.
Ironically right next door is a popular take away eatery frequented by big groups of students from the university down the lane.