For a growing number of people in Japan, a rewarding weekend involves ducking under rusty pipes, inching up crumbling stairs and soaking in the ambiance of rotting hotels, desolate amusement parks and empty hospitals where decaying surgical tools still lie on the operating table.
Sound fun? Well you’re not alone. Urban exploration has grown in popularity across Japan over the last few years. What started as a fringe activity for goths, hardcore photographers and teens looking for a thrill is now attracting tour groups and dedicated Web sites.
Advocates of haikyo (廃虚, or “ruins” in Japanese) have also developed their own code of conduct, which is quite similar to the environmental mantra of “take only photographs, leave only footprints,” but with an added prohibition of forcing one’s way inside (ie. cutting wires, breaking glass).
Read the full piece at Japan Pulse.