Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Disappearing Ghost Hotel of Ogimi

Those of you who drive up the West Coast of Okinawa to visit the beach resort at Okuma, spend some time at Hiji Falls, drink in the visual majesty of Cape Hedo or just take a country drive through the wilds of northern Okinawa may have noticed high on the hills above Ogimi village a large monolithic structure of a large building. For years this building remained a mystery. Many folks have tried to find it over the years only to get frustrated and lost in the winding mountain roads above Shioya bay.

Over the years, a sort of legend developed about the place. Some said it was Haunted Hotel. Rumors abounded about a rich hotelier who gambled all of his fortune on the venture only to go broke. Some said he simply closed the doors and locked everyone out to include the staff. Some wilder stories had it that he had committed suicide as a result of his folly.

Some rumors had it that the facility had been chained off and all of the furnishings left in tact. Some say that, for whatever reason, it had been posted as off limits to "SOFA" (U.S. military personnel). Even so, some brave souls claim to have ignored the warnings and heard the strange sounds of things that go bump in the night. Whatever, the truth is the same today as it is with most rumors of recent and distant past such as President Obama's Kenyan birth, secret Nazi submarine bases in antarctica, anthropogenic global warming and whatever bullshit the brain dead make a buck at all costs media moguls think up next to distract the useless eaters among us, maybe it's true or it maybe it's not, given the scant information that we have, we just don't know and when you get right down to it, the relatively small number of sane people among us just don't care.

All of that being said, sometimes it's just cool to find new places you've never been before and see what all the fuss was about. In the pictures above, you can see what's left of the so called "Ghost Hotel. Someone is finally starting to tear it down. How much of it is still standing at the time of this posting is likewise a mystery. What will be going up in it's place? Who knows! What we do know is that the site offers up one of the best views of Shioya bay, Kouri Jima and the Motobu peninsula as you can see in the second photo here.

The moral of the story is, sometimes it pays off to take the road less followed and get off the beaten path.

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