Bucket List: Visit The Ghost Town Of Nichitsu

This abandoned mining town looks like something out of a Japanese horror movie

Photos: Courtesy of Ikusuki / Flickr

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Just hours from Tokyo, in the heart of Central Japan and nestled among the colourful foliage of Saitama, a ghost town lies hidden from the common traveller. Here, it seems as though a whole community vanished overnight.

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Nichitsu town opened way back in the year 1600, when a nearby mine was discovered for its wealth of gold, iron and zinc. In 1937, the mines were bought by the Nichitsu Corporation, thus the name of the town.

At its peak, the town had a population of about 3,000. However, as the mines were increasingly depleted in the following decades, the town experienced an exodus of workers and their families.

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Today, the area sits abandoned in a mountain drained of valuable minerals, occupied only by empty streets of houses, schools, a supermarket, a hospital and public baths. The buildings are scattered with everyday material effects, from X-rays in the hospital to family photos in a room.

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The village is located at about 50km from Chichibu in Saitama but can also be reached from Kofu in Yamanashi. Nichitsu is one of the many “haikyo” in Japan, meaning “ruins” in Japanese.

Want more spooky stories? Our readers tell us about their ghostly encounters – here are the 10 scariest ones.

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