Ghost Towns in Japan – Are there?

People are leaving rural communities, and the number of ghost towns is rising, as the dropping birthrate has been an issue in recent years in Japan.

So in this article, I’ve listed top 20 well-known Japanese ghost towns.

Top 20 Ghost Town in Japan

Difficult-to-return zone

A region where the government has severely limited access to inhabitants owing to extraordinarily high radiation levels brought on by the catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company, which was caused by the Tohoku Region Pacific Ocean Earthquake on March 11, 2011.

Shima Prefecture’s Tomioka Town, Okuma Town, Futaba Town, Namie Town, and Katsurao, where the total annual radiation exposure surpasses 50 millisieverts. Iitate Village, Minamisoma City, and a portion of the village are covered.


Location: Iori, Kamiichi Town, Toyama Prefecture

Lori is a town in the Nakaniikawa District of the Toyama Prefecture’s Kamiichi Town. With 0 residents and 0 households, it was regarded as ghost town since 2018.

Itomuka Mine

Location: Rubeshibe-cho, Kitami-shi

Rubeshibe-cho, Tokoro-gun (now Rubeshibe-cho, Kitami-shi) served as the home of Hokkaido Itomuka Mine, which was governed by the Hokkaido Abashiri Branch Office (now the Okhotsk General Promotion Bureau).

The volume of output during the peak season was allegedly the best in Japan. Although Itomuka’s purpose as a mine has been fulfilled, the task of processing trash that contains mercury has already begun.

The office is still in operation as Japan’s sole facility for processing and recycling mercury-containing trash (batteries, fluorescent lights, etc.).

Obane pear

Location: Yogocho Obanashi , Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture

As of September 1, 2019, Obane Pear is a ghost town with a population of 0. The community had 10 homes and 63 residents at its height in 1960, but by 1971 it had been abandoned and was eventually going to be flooded by the Nyu Dam.

It is a snowy place, and although unofficially, a large snowfall of 7 m 30 cm was reported in 1936.

Kaku Beach

Known as the hamlet of Echigo poison elimination or a sandy beach in the region, Kakukaihama, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture is a town situated on the Sea of Japan coast in Nishikan Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. Coastal erosion is severe, the region has become an abandoned settlement, and leaving the beach is challenging.

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Kiwacho Hanai

Location: Hanai, Kiwa-cho, Kiwa district, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture

Former inhabitants still commute from their primary residence outside the district to maintain their homes and cemeteries in Kiwacho Hanai, which has a population of 0. At the beginning of the early modern period, Kokonoe, Kumanogawa-cho (Shingu City, Wakayama Prefecture), which looks across the Kitayama River, was recognized as the same hamlet because of its close relationship.

Even though there are no longer any residents, tourists continue to flock to the area because of the fantastic landscape and the tale of the Hundred Night Moon that is connected to the place’s name.


A town by the name of Konomai is situated in the southern region of Monbetsu City, Hokkaido Town. Despite being a successful gold mine, it was shut down in 1973 (Showa 48) owing to resource depletion brought on by the impact of the decline in gold prices.

As a consequence, the town of Kounomai, which had 13,000 residents at its height, vanished and had no inhabitants.

Shisaka Island

Location: Seto Inland

Five islands—Ienoshima, Minoshima, Myojinjima, and Nezushima—that make up Sea Shisaka Island are situated in the Seto Inland Sea approximately 10 kilometers (km) southeast of Oshima, Imabari City, and about 18 kilometers (km) north-northeast of Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture. , Kajishima), and Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, is the jurisdiction over the entire region (former Miyakubo Town, Ochi County).

The population peaked at more than 5,500 people around the end of the Taisho era, and it was still only around 4,000 people in the early 1960s. The Besshi Copper Mine was shut down in 1973, and the Niihama Toyo Smelter was then established, which reduced the significance of the Besshi Smelter. 2009), I visited the deserted island once more.


Location: Nagato, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture

The town of Nagamune, which is close to the Hietsu border and Arimine, is located in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture. Lead, silver, and zinc were once produced in the Nagamune Mine. Thus, the Oaza is still there now.

Lotus in Iidakamachi

In Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture, there is a place called Iitaka Chohachisu. It is a ghost town with no inhabitants. The stone walls of the dwellings from when it was a community with an elementary school branch are still there.

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Kyuzo village

Kamitsuga-gun, Tochigi Prefecture’s Kuzomura Village is where Kuzomura is situated. Around the Watarase River in Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures starting from the beginning of the Meiji period in the second part of the 19th century, it was the first to happen in Japan.

The community was abandoned together with Matsuki Village as a result of the Ashio Mine Pollution Incident, which is a pollution incident.

Abandoned Village Hatcho

In the early Meiji era, five families moved down in Haison Haccho, an abandoned hamlet in Keihoku, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

For a brief period, a branch school was established there, but in 1941 (Showa 16), all the families fled, leaving the community to become a ghost town.

Hashima (Gunkanjima)

The island of Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima, is situated in Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture (it was once Takashima Town, Nishisonogi County).

It benefited from underwater coal mining from the Meiji through the Showa eras, boasted Japan’s first high-rise housing complex made of reinforced concrete, and had a population density greater than Tokyo in the 1960s. Since the islanders fled in 1974 (Showa 49), when the mine was shut down, the island has been deserted.


Location: The Higashinokawa district of Kamikitayama Village, Yoshino District, Nara Prefecture

The Higashinokawa River Basin, which is a tributary of the Kitayama River in the Shingu River system and is situated near the southern foot of Mt. Odaigahara, goes by the name of Higashinokawa.

Due to the construction of the dam, the previous community was drowned. The remaining inhabitants migrated to alternate land along the dam lake’s shore, although their number rapidly declined. have evolved.

Samukawa (Saito)

Samukawa, a hamlet in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture, is situated in the region’s hilly region. The documentary “Samukawa,” which focused on outlying settlements, was created in 2007.

Chichibu Mine

Location: Chichibu City

West of Chichibu City in Saitama Prefecture, upstream of the Nakatsu River is where you’ll find the Saitama Prefecture Chichibu Mine. to produce iron ore Metal mining was ceased in 1978, and the community remained abandoned.

Toga Village Mizunashi

The name of a town in the old Toga Hamlet in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, where there once was a village at the southernmost point of Toyama Prefecture, is Togamura Mizunashi.

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I resided there throughout the snowless season even though the hamlet was abandoned in 1970 (Showa 45), just one family was listed there until 2020 (Reiwa 2), and by the spring of that year, it had a population of zero, even on the family register.

Tokuyama Village

In Ibi District, Gifu Prefecture, a settlement called Tokuyama Village is situated upstream of the Ibi River. It was eliminated and amalgamated with Fujihashi Village in 1987 (Showa 62). (now Ibigawa Town).

The livable portion of Tokuyama Hamlet, except the gated village, was drowned in the dam lake when the Tokuyama Dam was finished in May 2008. (Lake Tokuyama). The film “Furusato,” which was first shown in “Yuru Navi,” was also made in the village of Tokuyama, where the dam is currently being built.

Nishiya Village

Nishitani Village was a village located in Ono County, in the southeast region of Fukui Prefecture. Due to the Sasogawa Dam’s construction in 1959, three villages were flooded, and as a result of the damage caused by severe snowfall in 1963, three communities abandoned their locations.

The 40/9 flood disaster that occurred on September 15, 1965, also wreaked havoc on the surviving settlements. Following that, discussions on reconstruction moved forward for a time, but in 1966 it was decided to build the Managawa Dam on the Managawa River, a branch of the Kuzuryu River.

Nita Motomura

Formerly a village in Kamitsuga-gun, Tochigi Prefecture, Nitamotomura was abandoned together with Matsukimura and other communities as a result of the Ashio mine poisoning event.

The village’s formal abolition is unclear, although it is currently known as “Nitamoto Valley, Ashio-cho, Nikko City.”

Japanese Ghost Towns

I’ve so far discussed the top 20 Japanese ghost towns. The first location was the hard-to-reach area where residents were unable to go home as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe brought on by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Numerous neighborhoods have turned into ghost towns due to a variety of factors. Explore more and learn more about a place if it piques your interest.

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