Snapshots - The Journey to The Death Bowl

By Greg Illingworth

20 Jul 2016

Words and photos by Greg Illingworth

The mystery surrounding the Japan Death Bowl kept me interested for 3 years before we finally made the mission to find it and ride it. In a world where information on almost anything is so easily accessible it's not often you fall short, yet the more I researched the more questions I was left asking. Even now, having been there and ridden it, I still can't quite get me head around why it was built... Or more pertinently, why was it built like that.  

Here's a brief run down that might answer you few questions you might have, none of these are facts and varied depending on who we asked: 

• It was built in the 70's.

• It was primarily built for roller skating. 

• It was shut down and condemned by the government, apparently for being too dangerous.

• It remains over zealously guarded to this day.

• No one could confirm that some one died in the bowl. 

I could certainly imagine a lot of people getting hurt riding or skating this, particularly any novice. It is a shame that they haven't taken a few small steps to make it safer and usable. Aesthetically it is an incredible spot, practically it falls short of a usable public park. For the purpose of adventure it is ideal and this trip produced some of my greatest memories. 

Here are some of those captured on a humble disposable camera. I apologise if the quality is not great but I feel the moments whole heartedly whenever I look at these.

Watch the full 'Lost In Transition' video here.