A weird and wonderful junk yard ~ meets open air museum, at one of Kannabe Doken construction company work yards, reportedly once the Ogose Sake Brewery.
For this week’s photo Friday, I want to share with you one of my happy places in Ogose town! And I promise you, this is not something you see everyday. I have driven by here countless times over the years and it always puts a smile on my face. If you’ve ever driven to Sakuranoyama, you may have passed it too? But until last year I did not know that you can actually visit this unique… I want to say tourist attraction, but I’m not really sure that it is! I think the photos say it all…
Kannabe Doken / The Former Raiyou Ogose Sake Brewery
I want to say a genuine thank you to the owner of Kannabe Doken for bringing us this ‘attraction’ that is somewhere between a – very colorful and entertaining – junk yard and an open air museum! It would seem Kannabe Doken Shacho has somewhat of a penchant for collecting retro goods, doing them up and displaying them at this work yard of his construction company. The work yard is, reportedly, on the site of the former Raiyou Ogose Sake Brewery. There is an old sign for the brewery on the grounds… but there are also dozens of signs for various places, so that is not proof of and in itself!
Former Musashi Province Ogose Post Office
Google Maps also has the “former Musashi Province Ogose Post Office” plotted on the same land. It might be why there are so many post boxes on display! Once upon a time, they were not painted. I never got a photo of back in the day as I only ever drove by. But I found this on Sora News and they got some photos of the postboxes pre-paint! Presumably, one of the buildings on the grounds was once the post office. There are a handful of different buildings, including an old ‘kura’ Japanese Edo period warehouse.
Pretty in Pink
Apart from the post boxes, there are dozens of miscellaneous items in the yard. And many of them are painted pink! Kannabe Doken Shacho may believe the old saying “Pretty in Pink”. But I think that its really to match the Kannabe Doken work trucks, which are all pink! If you’ve visited the Ogose Bairin (plum grove) you may have seen dozens of construction vehicles beside the parking lot that are also pink. I believe they are the same company!
A lot of the items are from the Showa Period. Maybe a good place to visit on Showa Day – April 29th annually! However, I really don’t know what happens on public holidays – is the yard open? Closed? Do they rope it off? I do know there are security cameras all over the grounds. Breaks my heart to think of how much the need for security cameras around Japan has increased in the last few years. I hope it goes without saying, but you should neither touch nor take anything from the yard. While some of the stuff may look like junk, it is not. Remember: one wo/man’s rubbish is another wo/man’s treasure!
There are statues galore. Many of them of famous Japanese characters, such as Ultraman and Anpanman. There are also internationally recognized characters, such as Santa, Buzz Light Year and Spiderman! In addition, there are quite a few animal statues, particularly of frogs, but you can also find elephants, badgers, rabbits, sea creatures… even a dinosaur. And there is actually some real goats at the back of the yard!
I didn’t want to give too much away in photos! There are so many more treasures you can find in this hotchpotch haven! Many things are placed close together, so you really have to keep your eyes peeled. I think my favorite of the ones I have posted in this post is the rabbit above! How very curious! At the time it didn’t come to mind, but looking at the photo it conjures up Alice in Wonderland vibes. I also loved some statues that seem to have been made out of car parts, which I haven’t pictured. They are secured behind mesh so they don’t photograph very well.
If you are heading to Ogose for the azalea festival and you like this sort of hotch-potch museum-esque attraction, I recommend you stop by! There is no parking, but you can park at the town hall which is just a two to three minute walk away.
In the area
- Godaison is a three minute drive away and the azalea are in full bloom there right now. Furthermore, their azalea festival starts tomorrow, a week earlier than initially scheduled.
- Sakuranoyama Park is just a three minute walk away.
- Yamabuki no Sato is about a 15 minute walk away or 4 minute drive away. The Yamabuki are currently in bloom and there is supposed to be a festival on this weekend. However, due to the forecasted rain it has been cancelled tomorrow and it maybe cancelled on Sunday.
Location: Kannabe Doken at the site of the former Raiyou Ogose Sake Brewery 「旧 来陽越生酒造」and Musashi Province Ogose Post Office 「旧武蔵国越生郵便局扯」.
Address: 851 Ogose, Iruma District, Saitama 350-0416. View on Google Maps.
Hours: not specified. It would be respectful not to visit early in the morning or after dark.
Cost: free! Honestly, I would pay a nominal fee to wander around here every now and then. But I do love these type of quirky and kitsch locations!
I have not been able to find an official website or good online source for Kannabe Doken unfortunately. I would have liked to have directed some online traffic their way! In addtion, I also can’t find any solid information for either the Raiyou Ogose Sake Brewery nor the Musashi Province Ogose Post Office!