Niigata Russian Village Haikyo Urban Exploring!

September 26, 2008 · Print This Article

This haikyo trip to a Russian Village tucked away up in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, was my first ever overnight stay in a haikyo (urban exploring), and also my first ever time to stay overnight in a hotel–without paying!  Me, UK Mike, the Can, and Scott took an X-trail up to Niigata (piloted by yours truly).  It was Scott’s first ever haikyo experience.  I think this haikyo trip, though, produced a number of firsts for all of us, like getting busted by the 5-O, cooking with an open flame in a hotel room, riding mammoths, and spending quality time in a church on a Saturday night.

First, on the drive up we had nothing but open road on the highway.  I was of course on the horse doing 87 mph (140 km/hr) most of the way, and not really passing anyone.  Well, some sneaky undercover 5-O stowed its roof light and chose us (coincidence?) out of the many other people speeding past him to slowly, slowly, slowly pull over.  Really, we had to follow him for like a mile and a half before he finally told us to pull-over.  Well, this wasn’t the first time I had been pulled over for speeding, although the first time in Japan, and I had never gotten a ticket yet.  I know how to handle the 5-O in the U.S. and it seems those skills also apply to the j-5-O as we got off with just a condescending warning!  Nice.  

After that slow-down and a bit of a challege finding the Russian Village itself (thanks to the gas station ojisan who helped us), we finally made it to the haikyo safely under the cover of night.  We did a pretty thorough exploration of the whole theme park, which was covered in spider webs suspending their large owners.  UK Mike’s specialty is leading the way through such obstacles, and we appreciate that as I don’t think any of the rest of us wanted to go headlong into that.

After the midnight exploring we retired to our own hotel room!  It was in nearly immaculate condition considering it had been closed for the past 6 years.  The park itself was only open for about 6 months before closing down!  A huge waste of money.  There were all kinds of valuable things still lying around, like TVs, copy machines, a grand piano, dishes, and furniture of all sorts.

We woke up the next morning and the Can and I had a hot breakfast.  The park, as one would expect, looked totally different in daylight.  I will let the HD video and photo gallery below speak for what the Russian Village looked like.  (thanks to Scott for filming in the X-trail, it is all about video content some say)



Map of the Russian Village -- on right hotel & church, on left attractions Cooking breakfast in our hotel room at the Niigata Russian Village Haikyo Many rooms in the hotel were still in great condition
Only the honeymoon suite was destroyed like this, disgruntled jilted bride or groom? Did the Niigata earthquake bring down this chandelier? Niigata Russian Village haikyo dining room table with glass
This room could handle a large breakfast crowd The gift shop is now a bit low on stock, but still has jam! Doesn't she look real?  She spooked me.
Doing a little midnight super saver sale shopping in the gift shop This chandelier reminds me of birthday cake for some reason Scott and Mike in the seal tank at the Niigata Russian Village Haikyo
I wonder who threw the first knife? The church as it stands today, September 2008 Inside the church, where you could have your actual wedding!
The stained glass was all un-broken Jesus keeps an angled eye on all Only the lower part of the hotel had any mold and moss
Seriously, something was swirling around in this pool, maybe it ate the security guard? No barrier to entry here! Except for these creepers.
Someone took this swan out of its glass case The main square in the attractions area I don't know why this building was the most delapidated of them all
Pretty fancy for a train museum, eh? What this statues means I don't know, fight? newspaper time? tongue out? No one got political with this bust.
This statue was right outside the wedding reception hall! Angels in front of a train museum?  Why not I guess Someone set up this painting here, I liked the light
The entrance to the mammoth! The mammoth in fake bones The mammoth clad in fake hair
Apparently one could ride and roll o this mammoth Rusty car just needs a bit of oil! Did this place ever have any glory?

Another haikyo I’ve been on:

Other posts about the Niigata Russian Village Haikyo:


17 Responses to “Niigata Russian Village Haikyo Urban Exploring!”

  1. on September 26th, 2008 12:46 PM

    Exploring an abandoned Russian Village theme park haikyo in Niigata…

    A Russian Village theme park in Niigata Prefecture, Japan closed 6 years ago after only being open 6 months. This post contains a photo gallery and HD video of what it looks like now since it has become a haikyo. Outside of Japan this is called urban…

  2. on September 26th, 2008 11:02 PM

    You added in loon sounds? haha

    Nice though, colours are very vibrant. I’ll try to use more of us talking in future videos as it does bring up the interest level, well maybe only for us…

    Next haikyo? My student just told me today we should go to SeaGaia in Miyazaki as it’s now closed. That would be sweet, but too far away…


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Good identification of the loons sounds! Yes, those were put in during post production. If you listen carefully you may hear a brontosaurus as well!

    I thought next haikyo was the factory in Tochigi?


  3. on September 27th, 2008 12:15 AM

    Nice write-up, good you got a picture of the Guard Car pulling us over.

    Photos seem a little dark- by choice, or due to not using the tripod?


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks about the video….never have a plan, just edit how I feel at the time of editing.

    Which photos do you mean? The indoor ones? All shots were made to be as close to actual location light conditions with little alteration.


  4. on September 27th, 2008 12:24 AM

    I like the video too- you put a lot of different music and sound effects in there- gives a lot of different mood feelings to the piece, plus good general touring video of the site.


  5. Jon
    on September 27th, 2008 1:13 AM

    How can a place like this exist? Wouldn’t the owner try to liquidate the place rather than leave everything as is and give up on it. I mean, the beds were still made! I guess the spookiness of what could have happened there for it to be left in such a state is the appeal of going there. Why haven’t the homeless heard of these places? Is it too remote for them to bother?


    Jason Collin Reply:

    That’s what we thought, why not at least sell the grand piano, or the copy machines, or the fully stocked kitchen? I guess the original owner just lost everything and the bank or whoever took over couldn’t be bothered or thought they might re-open someday and just never did.

    I discussed with some of my students why homeless wouldn’t move in there and live the high life, but it’s in a remote prefecture, like Jeonju was in, and it’s several miles from even a convenience store, so food would be a problem. And it’s arctic there in winter and not possible to live there without heat.

    Still, I’d spend a month there bringing in good food stores. Feels like it should be being used for something at least.

    Had you ever heard of places like this in Korea? Any in Iowa?


    Maho Reply:

    Are you sure it’s nobody’s property? I guess it’s with encombrance means the former owner probably went belly up but then now the creditor owns the place and all stuffs there. Any accidents happened there should be at the responsibility of the current owner. So they don’t want anybody to enter usually. Be careful if police saw you there. There was one Haikyo in Ono (the middle of Ono and Higashirinkan) before and I broke in with my brothers when I was about 8years old. There were many stuffs left in too like they have just left for a quick shopping near by but as you know all stuffs were covered with dust. I broke in the other place near my old place too. It looked Haikyo but actually somebody was inside! I had too much sense of adventure when I was kid!



    Jason Collin Reply:

    I’m sure the Russian Village is still somebody’s property, but we didn’t have to brake in, we just easily walked around the locked gate! The buildings, including the church, weren’t locked, their doors were already wide open!

  6. on September 27th, 2008 7:20 AM

    I still don’t understand why if the company that owned that park went bankrupt, why they or the banks did not sell as much as they could like the TV’s and all the other valuable crap.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Maybe the bank went bankrupt too?


  7. on September 28th, 2008 11:35 PM

    […] he and Uk Mike have some great write ups of the event including videos and more pics (Mike’s, Jason’s).  Canadian Mike assures us he will also post something […]

  8. on November 14th, 2008 3:11 PM

    Can I join you guys next time you go haikyo?


    Jason Collin Reply:

    It wouldn’t be up to me if you can join, another guy organizes these haikyo trips and I’m usually just the driver. His link is the UK Mike one above, at the end of the post. He’d be the one to ask.


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