The businesses of Fukushima that never recovered [pt5]

These abandoned cars sit on a car dealer forecourt in Fukushima prefecture, Japan. The town was evacuated in 2011 in response to the accident at the nearby nuclear power plant.

Curiously, many of the cars in this lot are America. The most eye catching is a tangerine orange 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS. Two 1990s Lincoln Towncars, one in red and one in black, flank the Chevrolet Impala. There is also a 2006 Toyota Tundra and 1989 Nissan 240SX nearby.

Two white cars stand in front of a garage door. One of these is a 1970s Mercury Montego sedan. The second is a 1990s Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. The Cadillac has been modified into a stretch limousine. This one is the luxury “Connessieur” version.

A small and frog-like Nissan Pao peeks out from behind a small bush. The Nissan Pao had a short production run between 1989 and 1991.

However, it appears that some of these cars have moved since the dealer was abandoned in 2011. Photos from three or four years ago show a vacant space where the Cadillac Connessieur limousine now rests.

ABANDONED JAPENESE FUNERAL CAR

In Japanese, hearses are called reikyūsha (霊柩車), and appear in two styles. There are plain versions, similar to western funeral cars. Traditional Japanese-style cars are much more ornate. This vehicle is a wonderful example of the latter.

The rear of the funeral car features heavy modifications. To make space for the casket/coffin, the entire original interior behind the front seats has been removed. Made of wood, this rear compartment’s appearance mimics a Buddist temple. Numerous golden birds with long tails and elaborate plumage decorate the car. These are Hō-ō (鳳凰); an Asian bird broadly equivalent to the Phoenix in Greek mythology. Golden dragons reliefs appear along the side of the wooden temple.

Closeby there were also two garages and a gas station;

Some photos and text in this article are used with thanks to Janine Pendleton.

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