Monday, 11 May 2015


In Golden Week 2011, we visited the abandoned village of Tehaizaka in Happo, northern Akita.  At the time I was amazed how totally off tourism radar it was; it's still far far from the radar now.  In fact it's so far off the radar that my blog is still about the only thing that comes up for it in an English Google Search.... 
It was stark and forlorn before. and I wanted to come back when the peach trees were blooming. Spring came early to northern Tohoku this year. In Hirosaki, the sakura came and went well before Golden Week, the usual time when they bloom. This was much to the dismay of local shop keepers who missed the fortuitous timing.  But it was lucky for us. Tehaizaka has been filed away as a must return place. We returned and it was magnificient. Still forlorn, but not bleak. Forlornly  but charmingly decaying... somewhat akin to the passengerless Marie Celeste still having white linen tablecloths.

At the village entry sign, there is now an additional note to inform
where the nearest public toilets are..Japan truly is a public toilet paradise.

The river that runs behind the village. It's very full at this time
of the year with all the melting snow.


Andrew Wright said...

So pretty! Do you sense the ghosts of the old residents still lingering amongst the ruins?

Ponkan Chan said...

It's just beautiful but so melancholic. It could be in a Japanese picture dictionary to defite "sabishii" - a word that awkwardly translates as lonely.
If I could draw it'd be a perfect place to sit and sketch and take in the atmosphere.
I wondered a lot about the people.. Why people would leave crockery. I guess children have moved to the cities and noone wanted to come back.

It's interesting that there is no cemetery there. I am not sure why, but there are surely ghosts lingering.