I am a Japanese Urban Explorer (haikyo) Living in Tokyo


Seikaryo dormitory, Tokyo, 2013. © neji_maki_dori.


Short essay by neji_maki_dori


Tokyo can be considered a tough city for urban exploration. The life of an abandoned building is quite short due to the high price of land. However, some abandoned buildings can live a long life. “Seikaryo dormitory,” a three-story building located in a quiet residential area in Tokyo, was one of them.

The history of this building is quite long. Built by the Governor-General of Taiwan in 1927, the building was originally used as a dormitory for overseas students from Taiwan. After World War II, Taiwan was no longer under Japanese sovereignty and the dormitory’s ownership and management became unclear. However, residents continued to live in the building during the following decades.

In 2007, after leading a checkered life, this building suffered a calamity: a fire took the lives of two women and seven other people were injured. The building was severely damaged, although parts of the upper floors remained intact. Most likely, this accident accelerated the implementation of a legal framework for the building and, in 2013, it was torn down. A building gone all too soon.


neji_maki_dori is a Tokyo-based photographer who has been exploring abandoned buildings in Japan ever since his first visit to the ruins of a sulfur mine in 2006. He sources locations from printed materials about abandoned sites and from the collective.
www.geocities.jp/corruption_and_decadence | www.instagram.com/neji_maki_dori@neji_maki_dori

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5 Responses to “I am a Japanese Urban Explorer (haikyo) Living in Tokyo”

  1. Yusri says:

    Hello Neji,

    I’m Yusri from Malaysia. I really like your projects on abandoned places in Japan.

    I’ve been to Japan before and also visited a few haikyo such as Ashio Mine, Shiraiwa Village, Negishi Racecourse and some abandoned schools in Saitama.

    FYI, I’m coming to Tokyo again on 8-9 October 2016. If you are available, I would like to join you for a haikyo exploration nearby Tokyo. I’m sure you have been to Nichitsu Village right. I plan to go there too.

    Looking forward for your reply.

  2. meimei says:

    hello! I am going to Tokyo this month, I am looking for some haikyo in tokyo could you give me some informations? thank you

    • Gareth says:

      Hi meimei
      I will be in Tokyo on the 28th
      Did you find out any information of anything abandoned around Tokyo.
      I will keep my eyes open for anything too

  3. Stefano says:

    Nice post, I heard of this building and really a pity it was torn down.

    I’ll be in Tokyo next week and for 2 weeks.

    Is there any old building you would recommend to see?


  4. Aldy Indra says:

    Hello everyone!

    I’m Aldy from Indonesia but living in Tokyo 🙂

    I’m looking for abandoned place in Tokyo , but after a few days i looking around , i just found 1 place in Okubo , like Small Abandoned Apartement near the Okubo Station

    and if you all know about Urbex Community in Japan , please contact me.
    i really wanted to join Urbex Community in Japan 🙂


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