The mysterious ghost town of Matsuo Kouzan – The real ‘Silent Hill’

Matsuo Kouzan in northern Japan used to be the most famous sulfur mine in the Far East, but it closed in the early 1970s. Nowadays, at times, it proves near impossible to locate the apartment blocks of the abandoned Matsuo Mining Town. People can spend hours in the fog trying to locate these relics of one of the world’s once largest sulfur mines, which employed more than 4,000 workers.

The mysterious ghost town of Matsuo Kouzan – The real 'Silent Hill' 1
The Ghost Town Of Matsuo Kouzan ©

Sometimes those who are brave enough to fight through the fog will find themselves not alone there! They will hear running footsteps approaching them in the gloom, carrying the invisible forms right on past, the only evidence being the swirls in the mist taking on human form as they pass on by.

The Ghost Town Of Matsuo Kouzan

Matsuo Kouzan Ghost Town
Matsuo Kouzan ©

Matsuo Kouzan in northern Japan was the largest sulfur mine in all over East Asia, but it shut in 1972. The original town was built up to support this sulfur mine, which opened up way back in 1914. The operation lasted in 1969, at which point the mine was closed and the workers, along with their families, moved on to other places.

During its time, more than 4000 workers lived in Matsuo, along with their families, which would be no less than 15,000 residents. Now the entire town is deserted, the only items that remain of it are the left behind apartment processes that had been used by the mine’s employees, cut off from the rest of the world high in the hills.

Devoid of life, these abandoned shells of another time provide a reflection of the lives that were once lived here. Each building is four stories tall and designed in a very systematic and functional way. There are rooms for every purpose that an industrial population might need ― single workers, married workers and workers with families.

These forgotten buildings, however, are not really what create the Matsuo quarry truly creepy ― it’s the fact that you can’t even see them through the ghostly mist that envelops the place like an ethereal death shroud.

It seems that despite having been closed down, the Matsuo mine is still pretty operational, though instead of sulfur it now produces a tingling feeling of dread clawing out from deep within your immortal soul. Legend has that if you wander into its ghostly mist, you’ll stub your foot something incredible.

Matsuo Kouzan: A Paranormal Tour Destination

The mysterious ghost town of Matsuo Kouzan – The real 'Silent Hill' 2
Abandoned Buildings at Matsuo Kouzan mine area ©

Today, Matsuo Kouzan has become famous among urban explorers for the ebb and flow of the mist, which is thick enough to completely conceal the entire makeshift town hosting the remains of 11 apartment blocks sit atop this mountain region. People often have a hard time finding the place.

How To Reach The Ghost Town Of Matsuo Kouzan

Matsuo was a village located in Iwate District, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, but it is now a part of the Hachimantai city and no longer exists as an independent municipality. To reach the abandoned city, take Route 4 from Morioka towards Hachimantai. Follow the signs toward Route 23 and the Aspite Line. From the Aspite Line, you will see a small sign on the left hand side, directing you toward the Matsuo Kouzan viewing road.

Location: Matsuo, Hachimantai, Iwate 028-7305, Japan

Here’s Where Is Matsuo Kouzan Located On Google Maps