Sitting atop of the distinctive flat topped Yashima mountain is a real treat for those interested in exploring abandoned sites in Japan. I first noticed this when I was just perusing Google Maps, strolling around the city on street view whilst still in England and waiting to set off to my new home.
From the birds eye view of Yashima I noticed a scar that ran in a straight line up the site of the mountain. It quickly became clear that this was a cable car (far too straight to be a road) and, after a little more digging around, it was easy to tell that this hadn’t been used in a long time. The overgrown greenery, the cordoned off control room at the top, the lack of anything to visit up there were all huge clues.
So, very early after arriving I took the risk of a wasted train ticket and landed at a station as close as I could get. The walk up the cable car tracks is steep and really challenging on your legs but if you can overlook the intense amount of brightly coloured spiders, the pain in your legs and the risk of wild boar then the view across the city of Takamatsu are worth it all.
In addition to that, when you get to the top, not only is there a control room to explore but an abandoned hotel and onsen as well. It’s an amazing spot and seriously like a scene from 28 days later. There are suitcases and luggage still left on the floors, a bar that was never emptied, crates of beer and food still in the fridges of the kitchen etc. Why it was left in this state I'm not sure but it seems to be indicative of Japanese haikyo in general.
In case you're wondering, this isn’t a location to explore by yourself. The old crutch in the basement and the rats in the loft are enough to spook anyone, however if you time it right and go with the right people then this can be a great entry into the world of urban exploration. Sitting with friends on the 4th floor balcony with a few beers and watching the sun set across the bay will always remain one of my most enjoyable memories in Takamatsu.