The Former Hospital Which Is Shaped Like A Monster

The vast majority of buildings in Japan are actually very dull and nondescript but that means that some of the more-intriguing, modern architectural structures really stand out. This place, located in a very quiet part of Shizuoka Prefecture, is one such case.

18 kilometres south of Atami is a station bypassed by the majority of tourists heading further south to enjoy the beaches and onsen resorts of Izu Peninsula. Usami Station is a 17 minute train ride from Atami and following the river west for eight minutes on foot takes you to an interesting-looking building which was once nicknamed Monster Hospital.

The layout concept of the former Minesaki Clinic was designed by Yoji Watanabe who is famed for his unique architecture. It is supposedly based on part of a dragon face with the eyes and mouth represented by windows! I wasn`t originally too convinced but the more I look at the photo below the more I see it. What do you think?

The clinic was completed in 1968 and known locally as Monster Hospital. The driveway loops its way up to the entrance of the house and the back of it reminds me of an army style building of sorts. The design was reported to have been inspired by Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) and was abandoned for many years but now it now looks like someone`s home so one should respect the privacy of the residents if going to see this spook-tacular building.


  • The former Minesaki Clinic is located at 1480-2 Usami, Ito, Shizuoka-ken. The closest station is Usami (below) on the Izu Kyuko Line.


Bonus: The most visually stunning place in Usami has to be the giant kannon statue (3496-205 Usami, Ito, Shizuoka-ken) which sits up in the mountains overlooking the area. It`s easy enough to access by car but it is possible to do it on foot it if you don`t mind walking on the side of roads without footpaths for an hour! It should be said that it`s not a busy road but cars do pass by every now and again.


The kannon is lined with hundreds and thousands of statues and it really does make for an impressive sight.


Click here to read `Usami Kannon-Ji Temple`

Click here to read `Cycling In Izu #3 – A Giant Kannon Structure In The Mountains & A Religious Cult Building`

Click here to read `A Long & Steep Ride To Check Out The Cycle Racing Track Which Will Be Used At Tokyo 2020`

Click here to read `Tokyo Modern Architecture #1`

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Japan Travel, Quirky Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Former Hospital Which Is Shaped Like A Monster

  1. Pingback: The Great Buddha, Monster Hospital, Quality Dog Time, A Sushi Museum & Live J-League Football! | Tokyo Fox (東京狐)

  2. Pingback: Fantastic Mount Fuji Views, Unique Regional Burgers, A Beautiful Watergate And Live J-Football! | Tokyo Fox (東京狐)

  3. Pingback: A Whirlwind Tour Of 7 Prefectures In 4 Days! | Tokyo Fox (東京狐)

  4. Tom says:

    Yet again, wonderful finds! Can’t wait to visit some of the sites from the list 🙂

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