Yubari Old Shimizusawa School is an abandoned elementary school located in town of Yubari, Japan. Japanese photographer travelled to Yubari from Tokyo to photograph the parts of town as it fell into decay. Coordinates: 43.0802935, 141.8892155
Why town of Yubari is so abandoned? The city was founded on April 1, 1943 as a coal mining town. However, from a peak of 120,000 people in 1960, Yubari’s population plummeted to 21,000 in 1990, the year the last colliery closed and the last miners fled. In 1990s its population declined again to just 9,000 as seniors died and young people moved to larger cities. In 2007, it became Japan’s first municipality to declare bankruptcy.
With the closing of the mines in the 1980s, an attempt was made to convert the economic base to tourism. Local municipality received subsidies and constructed amusement park and other attractions, but few visitors and tourists came.
The public workforce of 3000 was halved. Six public schools were combined into 1. The decline has been severe, but that decline is also a magnified reflection of the economic problems facing Japan. There are still many abandoned buildings, which attract urban explorers. Below you may find 25 photographs made inside abandoned Yubari Old Shimizusawa School.