I devote my ‘H’ day to this horrifically fabulous Japanese haunted house.
I traveled on a milk-run train to Nikko Edomura (Edo Wonderland), and managed to get lost by disembarking the shuttle bus one stop early. By the time I found my way on foot (up a slow incline under the blistering sun), I had very little time before the theme park closed for the day. Though a bit rushed, I made good time and seemed to be the only one brave or curious enough to wander into Jigoku Temple. At the time, I didn’t know what it was called (Jigoku = Hell) and in fact walked in through the exit. I therefore experienced the whole thing in reverse, but it was quite amusing trying to trip the motion-detected animatronics ‘backwards’.
I am a fan of horror movies and gruesome ghouls, so I had a blast inside. There was only one room that freaked me out, and not for reasons one might guess. Due to my visual impairment, I have balance issues that can trigger ‘motion sickness’ quite easily without doing much of anything at all. There was one section of the haunted temple with a moving floor.
It was pitch dark when I entered the room, and the motion-triggered lights came on after the fact. I nearly lost my footing, and was suddenly in a danger-like situation. Alone in the dark temple, I didn’t know where the nearest wall might be. I couldn’t tell the position of the next doorway. I flailed my arms to trigger any surrounding lights, but that took a few seconds. In a panicky moment, seconds can feel like minutes.
But I lived.
Otherwise, I thought the whole setup was really well done. The creepy dudes sitting on the floor were probably scarier viewed in reverse. Unlike most viewers, I saw them from behind in eerie lighting, without seeing their faces. It was quite frightening nearly tripping over their bodies in the narrow corridor!
Though I missed Edomura’s shows and daily events, the haunted temple more than made up for it. I took my time inside, taking pictures, and tripping the ghoulish sounds and sights without having to deal with other onlookers.
This floating presence was the first thing I saw upon entering the temple. I realize now I should have instead encountered it just on my way out LOL. Had I strolled the structure in the intended order, would I have left ‘enlightened’, I wonder?
The last things I saw before leaving the temple were these. I guess if I’d entered through the building’s right side door instead of the one on the left, I would have seen these as messages of caution.
Oh well. Cautionary tale completely over my head, I had a good chuckle at the ‘farewell’ notice:
Japan, you are creepy and i love it 🙂