The mines in Osarizawa and Matsuo closed decades ago, leaving behind the ruins of industry and miners' homes. The shattered landscape offers a foretaste of a not-too-distant apocalypse.

Michael Johngrist explores ruins, and during a trip to Japan, he photographed the striking ruins that resulted from the closings of the mines in Osarizawa and Matsuo. The first three images come from Osarizawa, where the smelting facilities for the gold and copper mine closed in 1978. Mitsubishi currently owns the property, where it gives guided tours, possibly to protect visitors from the aging contents of the former smelting pools.

The second set of images comes from the apartment complex surrounding the Matsuo sulfur mines. Building began on the apartments in 1951, but were abandoned when mine was closed in 1969.


[Out of Ruins via Pink Tentacle]

Osarizawa mine and pools


Osarizawa mine

Pool at Osarizawa mine


Mist-shrouded apartment complex at Matsuo

Matsuo apartment complex


Interior of Matsuo apartment

Bath house in Matsuo


Interior of Matsuo complex