Urban exploration, often called "urbex," is a rising trend among a young generation of photographers who explore abandoned ruins or unseen parts of the man-made environment.
Thissen first started traveling to unexplored parts of the world for the sake of adventure, but now it's part of his job as a photographer and motion graphics designer.
"I try to go farther than other people and to other countries that nobody else explores," says Thissen. His photos are the result of time-consuming picture-based research and Google translation.
Photos from his recent trip to Japan show what Thissen describes as "perfect decay," where everything is slowly facing a natural death without human intervention.
"Japanese people always try something new and they want something new," says Thissen. The Fuurin love motel, once a place for lovers and secret relationships, seems to have closed down because of its remote location and changing trends.
"People try new things a few times and they don't come back after they experience them. They want something else," says Thissen.
Thissen says ruins in Asia are well-preserved compared to those in Europe. "I noticed that when a place gets abandoned in Western Europe, everything gets stolen, looted, and vandalized within a few weeks, maybe days. But Asia has a little more respect for everything."
"I was in an abandoned theme park in Japan, and everything was still in the exact same position as it was left, which was really strange to find," says Thissen. He said the owner of the amusement park told him that "everything has to face a natural death."
Cultural taboo also plays an important role in well-preserved ruins. "Japanese people believe that there are ghosts or spirits staying around abandoned buildings and stay away from them," says the photographer, adding that he has never encountered any paranormal activities.
Visiting a love hotel was a culturally unique experience for Thissen. "I'd never heard of 'love hotels' before ... but heard they flourished when Japanese people didn't have any privacy. Many people live in a single room with all the family members, and had to meet up at hotels or love motels."
The photographer also noticed European influences in Japanese hotels. "Whenever I went to a luxurious place, the building looked like it could have been in Europe," says Thissen. "I guess that's one of the standards of luxury in Japan."
To Thissen, every building has its own charm. "I think crumbling things look much more interesting than straight white walls without any texture in them."
He adapted his lifestyle to travel and explore as much as possible. "I get very bored when I am home. I need to move around constantly."
"It's quite a statement to show people what is abandoned. It helps people to look at buildings in a different way."
"In the past, people built buildings to last forever but nowadays, you build one and it's gone in ten to twenty years," says Thissen.