Urban exploration—visiting and often photographing abandoned locations—is a huge global force of discovery. In the U.S., we call it “urbex.” In Russia, those who take their exploration underground are known as diggers. In Japan, it’s known as haikyo—literally, ‘ruins’.
Haikyoists, as they’re known, are careful to preserve, and keep secret, what remains of the ruins. In his new book Abandoned Japan, Jordy Meow explains, “the haikyo community has a strong desire to respect and keep the ruins as they are.” In creating the book, Meow has visited schools, hospitals, industrial sites and whole towns to document their state of decay.
In a continuation of first ruin he photographed—an abandoned aquatic park called “Sports World”—Meow has a chapter devoted to amusement parks, and another for the Disney-inspired Nara Dreamland. He has also shot the Yamaguchi New Zealand Farm, a rural-looking idyll in a state of slow disrepair, a rusted ferris wheel from Kejonuma Leisure Land and Western Village, an Old West-themed park with, somewhat bizarrely, a mock Mount Rushmore. Steal a look with this collection of Meow’s images from his book.