Tower of Skulls

The Tower of Skulls sits in a corner of the city, neglected and forgotten. The pyramid-looking structure is odd and well hidden in bushes of trees. It looks like it was not meant to be seen.

Getting inside wasn’t easy. We had to access the second floor using a structure made of planks and junks (Gakuranman might have built it – he also has an excellent and beautifully written article about this place here). The second floor was in pretty bad shape, mostly destroyed with objects (fridge, cupboards, TV sets…) trying to find their way down. Ceiling state was similar. The danger of everything’s collapsing was real. However, Masumi lead the way and I had to follow her, carefully.

There isn’t much to see in the Tower of Skulls but the the last floor had something truly amazing. Nicely sculpted skulls were aligned on an altar, surrounded by candles and writings. That was the place of some kind of worship! I can just imagine the feeling of creepiness from the locals looking at that pyramid at night, the flickering light of the candles casting dancing shadows all around it and, in the background, a mysterious and emotional chant.

But why do we assume that this place is actually abandoned? The strange owner might still be coming here. And sometimes, this pyramid might be back to its strange life for a little part of the night.


  • Anaíres Matos

    Hello, I would like to say that your photos are really nice of these locations. Can you tell me if in Japan they work with museums or retrieval of these haikyo locations? kissus

    • Thank you for your kind words 🙂 It seems that museums don’t seem to have interest in the content of abandoned places, they would prefer to have those items retrieved, let’s say “cleared” and “sorted” before using them. That would be more likely a work for collectionners. Another issue is that this is tricky, haikyo are not really abandoned so it would be illegal just to go in there and get things.

      • Anaíres Matos

        OK. Thanks for answer and get this doubt. kissus

  • Kelvin Thomas

    Its interesting that you said “they aren’t really abandoned”. I find it hard to believe that such treasure goes simply unnoticed. Good work all the same. I’m still amazed that you can find them at all.

    • I wouldn’t find them if somebody hadn’t find them before me 🙂 It’s rare to find such a good haikyo by oneself nowadays, but I know there are still many to be found, with such amazing treasures. I am looking forward to them 🙂

  • Wes

    Great pics and so bizarre, is there more of a story to this place and all the carved skulls? Read the other article, interesting too.

    Were the arial shots via drone?

    • I flied my drone there, yes 🙂 Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know what really happened in there, there is no information anywhere. Seems related to buddhism, might be a specific branch of it… I will ask a friend, he might have an idea, or pointers…

      • Wes

        Circle back if you get more info, I am definitely interested!

  • Suneo

    I dont like the large watermark

  • Camille Gunn

    Hi, could you possibly give some information on exactly WHERE in Japan this place is, or how I can find it? I’m currently living in Kansai…. thanks


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