Offbeat

By Mike Jones


These buildings have lost their sex appeal – as their erotic themed exhibits lie abandoned.

The hihokan, or treasure palaces, appear to be in need of a lot of tender love and care after people interest due to the internet.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

These museums were extremely popular in Japanese spa towns in the 1970s and ’80s.

They were often eclectic collections of taxidermy, educational info signs, mannequins, interactive mini games, cinemas and nude shows that were there to entertain citizens in otherwise dull areas.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

However, as these pictures show, many have now been forgotten and their exhibits, rather than catching eyes, are now just gathering dust.

The pictures were taken by Florian Seidel, a 40-year-old editor based in Osaka, at the Japanese Sex Museum in Yamaguchi and at the Hokkaido House of Hidden Treasures near Sapporo.

Florian said: “The hihokan were very individual places that said a lot more about their owners than the Japanese society in general.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

“Most of them were located in spa towns, and there is little to do after sundown, except for getting drunk singing karaoke.

“The Hokkaido House of Hidden Treasures in Jozankei Onsen, a spa town just 45 minutes outside of Sapporo, looked more like a rundown two-storey restaurant – probably because the top floor actually was a BBQ joint.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

“It was a lot less classy than other museums – most of the upper floor was occupied by taxidermy animals doing it.

“The abandoned sex museum in Yamaguchi was located in what looked like an annex of a Japanese castle.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

“The content of the museum was rather classy and artsy. If featured lots of sculptures, classic drawings, black light paintings, a shrine replica and, just before the nude stage and the exit, some of the weirdest mannequins.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

“Those museums were a frivolous entertainment alternative in the pre-internet era, not to be taken too seriously.

PIC BY ABANDONED KANSAI / CATERS NEWS

“They were a product of their time and were made obsolete by the internet, a source of more weird stuff and sexual content than anybody can consume.”