The remains of an elementary school closed in 1995. It is located on Awashima Island, a small island floating in the Sea of Japan, with an area of ten square kilometres and a circumference of 23 kilometres. Even now, everything is just as it was then, with things such as books, a piano, and ping-pong table left behind. The steps, which must have rung with the excitement and high voices of the children as they scrambled upstairs, shine with a black lustre. It’s a scene that could have been plucked out of a Ghibli movie.
As I was gazing through the window out to the sea, I slipped back in time to how I felt when I was younger. It’s the kind of place where you can immerse yourself in an intense feeling of nostalgia.
Location: Kamaya, Awashimaura, Iwafune, Niigata
Access: 55 minutes by ferry from Port Iwafune
Note: You cannot drive a car in Awashimaura