Another great source of inspiration for haikyo exploration is Michael Gakuran. Like Jordy Meow, he has an eye for beautiful imagery and an extensive library of covered haikyo. A Japan veteran, he is a source for much wisdom about living and working here. Furthermore, he has a rich and lively writing style. Reading his exploration stories combined with the dazzling pictures is almost as exciting as being there.
In research for this post, I was able to find him. We met at Shimbashi and had a coffe. A boy scout by heart, Michael eyes sparkled while I listened to his amazing adventures stories.
To get a taste of Michael Gakuran, read his fascinating account of the Red Villa here. The house is a famous 'myth' among haikyo fans in Japan. The Red Villa is filled with items from long-gone times, including a secret room filled with pre-war pornography.
Michael has a way of writing about his explorations that make videos unnecessary. Super exciting, simply put. Well, in the case of the Red Villa there will never be a video - I was planning to go there but found out the shocking news: It seems that shortly after he wrote his report, to my great dismay, that place was bought and demolished. It is gone.
I do hope that whoever did it has kept the items that were on display inside. On the antique markets around Japan, great things keep showing up. I guess most people who love antiques feel that they want to protect something from fading away too fast. Well, I hope somebody did that with the things from this villa. Either way, I am happy Michael wrote this wonderful exploration report.