Photographer Reginald Van de Velde didn’t go to Japan for the normal tourist attractions, but rather for the sole purpose of exploring its abandoned theme parks. According to Velde, “The Land of the Rising Sun is cramped with derelict goodies, and they’re on a scale you’ve never seen before.” Above, we have a picture of a roller coaster from the Disneyland-inspired Nara Dreamland. Continue reading for more.
3. Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland was a theme park near Nara, Japan which was built in 1961 and inspired by Disneyland in California. On August 31, 2006, Nara Dreamland closed permanently due to low visitor numbers. The entrance to the park was designed to look almost identical to Disneyland, including the Train depot, a Main Street, U.S.A. and the familiar Sleeping Beauty Castle at the hub. It also had a Matterhorn-type mountain (with a Matterhorn Bobsleds-type ride, called Bobsleigh), and the skyway running through it, as well as an Autopia-type ride and a monorail. The park also had its own mascots, Ran-chan and Dori-chan, two kids dressed as bearskinned guards.
2. Family Land
Koga Family Land, also known as Koga Family Rand, was yet another small, independent amusement park that failed in the mid-90s due to low visitor count. Unfortunately, it stood abandoned for nearly 20 years before finally being torn down in 2008. There is one thing still visible today, and it’s the iconic and enormous ferris wheel, which sits abandoned near the beautiful Biwa lake, Shiga Prefecture.
1. Western Village
Located approximately 70-miles north of Tokyo, in the town of Tochigi, is Western Village, a creepy yet fascinating abandoned amusement park that closed its doors for good in 2007. The Western Village was originally built in 1975 and such a huge hit over the years that its owner bought a $27-million, one-third scale replica of Mount Rushmore in 1995. Over the years, Western Village lost ground to amusement parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc. With tourist traffic down, the park’s animatronic characters and themed buildings were left as if a nuclear holocaust had arrived.