An abandoned building in a field in the middle of nowhere might not interest too many but when I heard about this place I was keen to check it out. The fact that it was a relatively straightforward journey for me increased my desire to see it but of course it wasn’t quite that simple.
Take the Tobu Toju Line all the way north up to Ogawamachi (TJ33) in Saitama, change to the JR Hachiko Line, and four stops on is the unstaffed Yodo Station. Yes, it’s just one letter away from being the name of a legendary Star Wars character! For the record, there is sadly no Yoda Station in Japan but there is actually a town called Yōda in Fujisawa (Kanagawa)!
It wasn’t until I got to Yodo that I realised I had actually been there before as it was the first stop on my seven gods tour in Saitama a few years ago. This trip involved far more than just getting to this station though as the derelict building was a 45 minute walk away. So that’s 90 minutes return plus time to look around the building and snap a load of photos! Due to other commitments though I was pressed for time and had to do the whole lot in 70 minutes which meant a lot of running to get there and back!
This second Tokyo Military Arsenal Kushibiki Factory is on private land so I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to access it properly but thankfully it was just lying in the middle of some farmland not too far away from the border of Gunma Prefecture.
There are no explanation boards on site but my research tells me it was built in 1943 as the evacuation site of the Itabashi factory for the Tokyo air raid. It was only used for a very short period of time just before the end of WWII. What can be seen today used to be part of a bigger structure but that was demolished in 1995.
There are rumours that these relics of a military facility are haunted, and that ghosts of the soldiers march in the middle of the night. I’m always sceptical about such stories but I can easily believe it’s pretty spooky at night with very little light in the area. However, in the day time there was no fear, especially as there is no roof on this building meaning it’s open to the elements and there are no creepy crawlies or whatever on the ceiling.
Whilst this was certainly no classic haikyo (abandoned ruins) expedition, it was still quite fun and interesting to be able to enter the building and take a look around the two floors.
Despite running fairly regularly, my muscles were actually aching the following day as I didn’t warm up or down as I didn’t really consider it a proper run. A bad mistake on reflection but no pain, no gain as they say and hopefully some people will think it was worth it when they see this post. You can never be sure of that though!!
- The 2nd Tokyo Military Arsenal Kushibiki Factory is located at 85 Kushibiki, Fukaya, Saitama-ken.
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