Sunday, March 22, 2020


While walking towards the Satsuma Denshokan I notices some curved, gleaming-metal shapes sticking up above the skyline not far away so after visiting the museum I headed over to investigate, and was not prepared for what I found.

Nanohanakan is a sports park and complex with some seriously bizarre architecture that is all the more strange because it is virtually all closed down and bereft of all but a few old people playing gateball in a huge indoor arena.

Sites like this are scattered all over the hinterlands of Japan, built with Bubble-era cash and with many now closed down, this place ranks, to me at least, one of the most outrageous. There was a massive indoor swimming pool, numerous arenas for sports, meeting rooms for conferences and such, and even an accommodation block with rooms.

Given the cash by the central government, architects and construction companies made a fortune, but local government was left with the operating and maintenance costs, and the hoped-for crowds never materialized.

This place was designed by architect Takasaki Masaharu, a native of Kagoshima. I have seen another of his structure up in rural Kumamoto. I find these places fascinating, as a photographer, and will post some more pics next....

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