I’ve always believed that every city in the world has some ruins and abandoned buildings, spots that are forgotten and ignored but always full of stories to tell. Then, there are also ghost towns — entire towns that used to be bustling with life, but are now crumbling and rotting away with the passing of time. A Tokyo-based Italian photographer has been taking photos of a popular ghost town in Japan, and I should say they’re seriously fascinating.
Rotting houses, decrepit buildings, rooms in disarray, walls still covered with peeling paint. Abandoned buildings appear to be the stuff of nightmares and horror flicks, but for every city that has one, there will always be a curious photographer-cum-urban-explorer or two, ready to enter and examine every nook and cranny of the creepy buildings. For those of us who won’t dare peek through the windows of these abandoned buildings, we have these brave souls to thank for feeding our curiosity with their compelling photos.
One such photographer is Riccardo Parenti, an art director and photographer from Italy who is now based in Tokyo. One of his current projects involves photographing the famous ghost town of Nichitsu, an abandoned mining town about three hours away from Tokyo.
Located in Chichibu in the remote, mountainous region northeast of Saitama Prefecture, Nichitsu was once home to around 3,000 people during its prime in 1965. However, when the town’s namesake Nichitsu Corporation (who bought the mines in 1937) ceased mining operations in 1978, residents began leaving the town. Urban explorers say limited mining of limestone continues in the area at present, but the town remains abandoned to this day.
Parenti’s photos taken using a Mamiya 7 and Kodak Ektar 100 tell of a scenic mountainside town that had everything its residents needed: comfortable homes and apartments, a post office, a town hall, a school, and even a hospital. Many of the rooms he had photographed still had the residents’ personal belongings, lending character and extra creepy vibes to the town.
While waiting for Parenti to take more snaps around Nichitsu, why don’t we all watch a clip showing us around the creepy yet interesting ghost town:
So, have you ever been inside an abandoned building or even a ghost town? Share your photos and stories with us and leave a comment below!