Roughly a seven-hour car journey from the Japanese capital of Tokyo, there is an other-worldly settlement situated amid cloud-shrouded hills. The place is something of a ghost town, with aging buildings and everyday implements left there to decay. There are no active signs of human life – but it wasn’t always this way.
This town was initially developed to accommodate the workers of the Matsuo Mine, which sought to extract sulfur and iron. Constructed as a compact arrangement of concrete buildings, the settlement was, at one time, home to more than 15,000 individuals. As a matter of fact, it was thought to be quite a lavish place during its earlier days.
The perceived affluence of the town was apparently down to some of its handy amenities. Examples of these included lavatories capable of being flushed, central heating and chutes for people to throw away their garbage. But despite these supposed extravagances, the town nonetheless would have possessed a creepy feel. After all, it was regularly engulfed in heavy mist.
The Matsuo Mine shut down in 1969, which meant the town no longer had much of a function. And so a settlement once referred to as a “paradise above the clouds” was left to the ravages of time. Its residents abandoned the area, even leaving behind some of their possessions to rot.
Today, the settlement exists merely as a creepy ghost town obscured by fog. So while it was once alive with inhabitants and industry, it’s now little more than an eerie dystopia. The mines are quiet and the buildings are falling apart, surviving now simply as a reminder of a bygone age.