This photo was ten years ago. I found this abandoned farm in an area of the mountains in Japan where I had hiked for over a decade without ever once seeing a living person, though I did discover several abandoned family cemeteries, and a very spooky solitary grave, deep within a forest, where the grave was guarded over by a headless statue of the Buddhist saint, Jizo; a deity regarded as the spiritual protector of women and children. This old house, barely standing, was at the end of a farm road I’d somehow missed for years. The old home is furnished, and something lives in the back room, I as I heard the thing which lives there moving during one of my three visits, though I was too scared to find out what it was. During one visit, giant hornets patrolled the eves from an enormous nest under the roof, keeping things lively as I slowly walked around the house, peeking into windows, wondering at the lives of the people who once lived here.
This is a farm I plan to return to after I get back to Japan, as it is also the last place in Japan I visited before coming to America; my goodbye hike so to speak was here, at the place most emblematic of the mission and spirit of #AbandonedJapan. A good place perhaps to one day resume the journey after Yumiko and I return to Japan in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Here is a link to the video I made when I first discovered this place:
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.