Let’s go back to fall 2017 when I was living in Japan. With a little research, I discovered that the Seline Love Hotel was in Nagano Prefecture, seeing the pictures of the place aroused my curiosity and it shot to the top of my exploration list. Being able to find things in the prefecture that I lived in saved money and time in transit. Seline Love Hotel is along the borders of Niigata Prefecture. I took the Shinano Line to Myoko Kogen Station in Niigata Prefecture and followed the roads suggested to me by Google Maps to the site. Coming into Myoko Kogen Station, I saw a dull white building with fading orange and pink trim. My spidey sense tingled, and I made a mental note to return after I am completing my mission to the love hotel.
After visiting the fascinating Seline Love Hotel (which will get a post), I walked the hour back to Myoko Kogen to investigate the building that I saw on the train. I didn’t disappoint.
As I approached, I noticed that this location spanned more than the building itself. I saw structures on the hill in the background.
Slowly it dawned on me that I had come across an abandoned hotel and ski resort. In fact, a location that hasn’t been explored to death by the haikyo community in Japan. I have not seen anyone else document this place. The day’s original destination, Seline Love Hotel is well known among UE enthusiasts, but to come across an abandonment that was under the radar was quite pleasing. It made for an eventful day in September. My second time I focused on exploring the former ski slope to see if I could explore the structures highlighted above. I’ll say it right now, I couldn’t find a place in, but another visit is in me and will keep you posted…. Now, on with the show!
There was not a lot of traffic, but a utility truck stopped in front of the hotel and put some cones down. While they did their thing, I explored off to the surrounding area and came across this:
Walking along a hiking trail, U-shaped roofed buildings peaked out from the dense flora. They appear to be lodgings; I couldn’t discern if they were for staff or vacationers. Some of the buildings had caved in from years of neglect and heavy snowfall, while others remain barely intact. I had seen at least five structures and got a sense I hardly skimmed the surface of exploration of the area. After about a half-an-hour, I headed back to try my luck with the hotel.
From what I gathered the hotel part of a chain in Japan called the Olympic Inn, while the ski resort was known as Panorama Park. The hotel was divided into two sections, building A (“Alice”) and B(“Bells”). The Inn had a restaurant called P’Queen (Panoramic Queen?). Here are some photos of the forgotten Queen.
From there I explored the lodgings, which were pretty much bare except for coin-operated televisions and rotary dial phones. Here are a few examples of what I came across.
The highlight of the visit was finding the Panoramic Sports Gym. The resort offered volleyball, tennis, and basketball options to non-skiers and those who wanted a temporary break from the cold slopes. Coming across the skis, poles, boots, and snowboards was a delight. I assume the winter sports stuff was moved into the gym after the resort closed.
This area deserves multiple visits. If I am in this area again, I will explore the rest of this place, including a hopeful path to the buildings and structures upon the hill. This next set of photos are taking from the lobby and the staff office. I found some cool analog gadgets in the office, along with a shrine.
I think I’ll end this post by adding a few more views of the hotel proper and some of the buildings connected to the ski slope. I will also include pictures I took when I mistakenly thought I could access the hotel in February of this year.
Nagano was the location of the 1998 Winter Olympics. I lived there twenty years after the international event. Seeing images of other past Olympic cities, I understand that Olympics don’t help communities in the long run. It’s short-term cash injection to towns, but what do cities do when the tourist boom ends? I thought about this a lot as I walked the streets of Nagano city, and of course, as I came across this abandoned resort. I had no evidence but did this place die because of a lack of tourists? At the Abandoned Kansai blog, I noticed he had discovered another abandoned ski resort in Nagano Prefecture. Perhaps this is a sign that lack of tourism killed off numerous resorts in the area.