There’s something called Urban Exploration that seems to have taken off in popularity. No, it’s not the same as Urban Camping (a euphemism to refer to the homeless), Urbex involves traversing into abandoned buildings and other similar precarious places. Youtube has been a great help in creating a wonder behind this hobby. And I’m quite taken by it.
Tokyo is just a cluster of buildings. Although you might not find that many dilapidated structures within the Yamanote circle, there seems to be plenty in Hachioji (which is just on the outskirts of the metropolis). Heck, it still counts as Tokyo and yet the area is so different from what tourists see, you might as well be in the country side.
A simple Google search of these abandoned buildings, named Haikyo in Japanese, results in countless gorgeous pictures, maps with pins of locations, blogs, videos, etc. of people’s adventures. To see what has been left for so long, what a marvel.
Couple that with Rooftopping (yep, literally running around on rooftops) in Tokyo’s busier districts and you’ve got the formula for a fun time.
Unfortunately, I haven’t done any of these things yet. I have no pictures, no experiences to share.
But I want to so bad.
The problem with starting Urbex and/or Rooftopping is the sheer amount of research and preparation involved. Although there’s countless resources, without a step-by-step approach, or better yet an experienced guide, the initial step is daunting.
So I implore, if any of you have any helpful information to a complete noobie, please comment! And if you happen to be in Tokyo, too let’s see if we can meet. It’s always safer in groups after all.