Hoshino Kimono Shop

The Hoshino Kimono Shop (星野 着物店) is a very lonely two-storey house on the border of a road in Ibaraki. I went there for a visit by night, and I was quite tensed: the house was buried in a complete darkness. It seems only a girl (Masami) and her mother lived there, together. They ran away, one night, for a mysterious reason.


  • ? – 1986

  • Nikozouji

    nice phot・・・very good……..

    • Thank you 🙂 It was so dark…. so difficult!

      • kikooe

        Have you done more investigation about this ? (They ran away, one night, for a mysterious reason)

        • Actually I may have something that could lead me to an explanation, but I need to work on it a bit. Probably I will update this article in a few weeks 🙂

          • Wes

            Was there every any more to the story?

          • Unfortunately yes. And it’s hard to get back to that place, I am not sure it is safe anymore, it is potentially quite radioactive in the area.

          • Wes

            Anything more you can share? Just out of curiosity can it be found on Google Maps? Thanks for the great site, I have lurked for a long while and explore vicariously through it.

          • Michael

            I did a little research of my own, after coming across this page and I found out from Google Earth, that the building has sadly been demolished, sometime between 2011 – 2012. It really does make me curious about what happened to the mother and daughter, now that the building is gone. At least the mystery can live on through these pictures!

          • I wasn’t sure it was demolished but I am not surprised 🙁 Yeah, I am sure there was a way to know more about what happened to them but I didn’t look for more clues or information unfortunately. Maybe an Japanese explorer did, but I doubt 🙁

          • Wes

            Is there a street address for this building?

          • Michael

            Yeah, I agree! Very intriguing, but eerie at the same time…

            Here’s a link to Google Maps:

            Thanks to that yellow flag, it’s obvious that this was the exact location!

          • Michael

            Seems as though that link doesn’t work, but just put this into Google Maps and you should find it:

            36.163774, 140.523031

          • Yes, that’s exactly it! How comes the flag is still there!

            (Michael, I hope you don’t mind, I deleted your comment with the huge map in it since it was not really working)

          • Michael

            No problem at all!

            Do you know what the yellow flag says?
            It’d be interesting if it has something to do with the store.

          • It means there is a security patrol, not always ran by police but also by normal people (probably locals). Maybe this area is not the safest…

          • Michael

            Thanks for the translation, still interesting, nonetheless!

          • Wes

            Looks darn close, but the building next door looks slightly off. I wonder if it is the angle.

          • Michael

            I guess if someone really wanted to find something out, they could ask around the area, like the neighbours or the local people.

            Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing mate, really enjoy your content!

          • Wes

            I guess the stories we can never get answers to are the most intriguing. One can hope whatever circumstances that caused the two to abandon their life were left behind and they found a better life down the road.

  • Mermaidninja

    I wonder if those kimonos can be salvaged?

  • Fred. et Val.

    Vraiment belle photos prisent dans le noir absolu. Pas du tout facile à réaliser. Chapeau! J’aimerai en savoir un peu plus sur la mère et la fille qui vivaient ici. Pourquoi sont elles parties en pleine nuit? Avez vous eu des gens qui se sont reconnus sur les photos ou les ont connues? Incroyable qu’on puisse tout abandonner comme ca!

  • Wes

    Doing some cross referencing, according to comments on this blog: http://wordpress.tokyotimes.org/kimono-shop-haikyo/

    Some conjecture about the former tenants settling back down near by and yakuza. Nothing I can correlate to yet as there is no weight to these comments.

    • Michael

      I did see that too! I also found some Japanese sites about it (Just Google “星野 着物店”), with some more pictures as well. The Google translation from Japanese to English is not 100% correct, but you can understand that many other people also think the reason was yakuza related.

  • Audrey

    This Haikyo, Has Been The Number 1 Haikyo That Has Been A Mystery To Me! I Really Was Curious On Why The Mother And Daughter Left For A Mysterious Reason! And Now The Building Is Demolished So I Know Wonder If The Mother And Daughter Came Back!

  • Wes

    Circling back to this after a long time. No reason why it popped into my head, just chasing ghosts.

    Anyone know when the building was abandoned? The pictures Jordy took were dated on the film at March 1993. Those pics really humanize this former modern ruin.

    • True, I would love to add some meat to the story. I am not sure if I feel so good uploading those personal photos there, but… I don’t know. Somehow I felt like someone could come and tell us more about the story. I still hope so. Now this house is gone too…

      • Wes

        We may never know but I have chased ghosts before for much longer and had a surprise revelation. But the odds are slim, maybe they will stumble upon this blog and surprise us.

        Like I said I think their photos adds a human element. Much as your photos are works of art, you are documenting history to which they were important for this now lost shop.


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