Nara Dreamland: Japan’s last abandoned theme park

MJG Haikyo, Nara, Theme Parks 115 Comments

Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing. I’ve heard many stories of haikyoists arriving only to be either deterred by the cameras, sensors, alarms and fines, or actually physically expelled by the furious security guard. For my visit I decided to bypass those risks altogether, and entered by night.

You can buy prints here.

Orion (you can see the 3 stars of his belt) behind the Dreamland castle. Buy prints here.

Nara Dreamland opened in 1961, inspired by Disneyland in California. For 45 years its central fantasy castle, massive wooden rollercoaster Aska, and corkscrewing Screwcoaster pulled in the big crowds. By then though it was outdated, and dying a slow death as Universal Studios Japan (built 2001) in nearby Osaka sucked all the oxygen out of the business. It closed its doors permanently in 2006.

Shooting north towards the moon (off to the right), with this side of the castle in moon-shadow.

I’ve wanted to go to a standing abandoned theme park since I started haikyoing. I tried site after site, only to be disappointed at each. One was in the process of demolition (Kappa Pia), one had only concrete slabs where the rides had once been (Namegawa Island), one was wiped off the map completely (Gulliver`s Kingdom).

Shooting south, with the moon at my back-left and lighting this side of the castle.

Then there was Nara Dreamland, which had lots of strikes against it; it was only recently abandoned so would have little decay, it had heavy security, and it was far away. So I put it on the back burner, thinking I`d get to it in time.

Well, that time arrived. I had the weekend, I had a fellow haikyoist who knew the park’s layout well and had himself been expelled by security once (Florian of Abandoned Kansai), and I had the inclination, so we set it up.

The castle is at the center, with the Screwcoaster to its left and the wooden ride Aska at bottom right.

I arrived in Nara by Shinkansen a little after midnight. The streets were quiet and calm as we walked the 30 minutes to the Dreamland site. Both of us were pretty excited. There was always the possibility that the security guard might do night sweeps. There was still the threat of fines, motion sensors, alarms.

Access was easy. I changed into my ninja outfit (black jeans and black shirt), and we were in.

Googlemaps of Dreamland. Most striking is the oval-ish central fountain.

There’s something very ethereal about an empty theme park by moonlight. It’s not something you’re ever likely to see for yourself, and it`s very difficult to capture in photographs. There’s a stillness, an aloneness, that creeps into you. As Florian and I split up to explore separate sections of the park, I wandered in a kind of daze, drinking it in.

Of course I was reminded of my first ever night haikyo, at Sports World. There’s the excitement, the adrenaline pushing against growing exhaustion, and that unreal feeling of having briefly slipped through the cracks and found a place apart, somewhere that time forgot and left behind.

I love that feeling.

Boarded-up buildings and Orion.

Entry by night definitely made up for the general lack of overgrowth. Usually in a haikyo a large part of the appeal comes from the untouched nature of an all-new enivronment. It`s exploring, in this case the world built by nature in the places we once owned.

With Dreamland there wasn’t so much of that, as 4 years is not a long time for nature to run rampant. But going in by night made it a foreign land. That, combined with unlimited access to the rides, rails, and behind the scenes places, made this a stellar explore.

Screw Coaster and the Pole Star(?)

We wandered around for hours, occasionally pausing to snap long-exposure shots of the stars, rides, and castle. I climbed up Aska (the huge wooden coaster) a little, dropped my flashlight as I went over the fence, and spent 10 minutes scrabbling amongst the brambles to find it. Occasionally I`d see a flashlight go by and wonder if it was Florian or a security guard.

Shooting within the wooden coaster Aska. The stars are blurry because they`re moving through my long-exposure time window.

By around 5am I was pretty shattered, so curled up in the bucket seat of a kids ride and napped for about 30 minutes. When I woke up everything was blue, and the sun was coming up.

This is where I napped.It wasn`t very comfortable.

I`ve rarely been awake for many dawn-rises in my life, so just took people`s word for it when they said `dawn is the best time for photography`. It certainly wasn`t true of the first 30 minutes of dawn at Dreamland. For all that time, as we rushed around feeling knackered and worried about the security guard, the light was blue and cold and really unpleasant. After that 30 minutes though it began to warm up, and I got some nice sunrise shots through the rides.

Some weeds are beginning to sprout through the tarmac. Give it 10-20 years and it`ll be gorgeous.

Screwcoaster`s double corkscrew and the sun.

Screwcoaster cross-over.

Towards the entrance and the the sunrise.

Main street sunrise.

After that it was a question of re-exploring the areas we’d already seen by night. I walked around the front area and took in the train station entrance (for delivering people from the far car park).

Train Station with 1961 branding.

Train Station in blue-ish color.

Main entrance to the Main Street. Black and white because it was too blue-ish to rescue.

I walked the wooden coaster Aska to its highest peak and looked down on the park.

Aska resting silent. I wonder if this huge tarmac space before it would have had tents and stalls. Otherwise it would have surely seemed quite empty then too.

Within Aska.

Aska swerves.

Shooting up.

Ride, and Matterhorn-like mountain off in the park.

Florian taking shots of Aska.

Apparently this ride was awesome when alive, and got great air. I thought about climbing down, but it was really too steep.

The most overgrowth anywhere in the park. I lost my flashlight for 10 minutes in all that foliage at night.

Say cheese.

I was on top of the big one.

I went into the GALLANTRY shooting gallery, which was quite pathetic inside. In the dark I suppose its crapness would be less obvious.

GALLANTRY shooting gallery. It looks awesome, right?

Hmm. Surely better in the dark.

Awesome!

I saw the Jungle river Cruise and its sinking boats. I wish I could have gotten over to them, but the bridges were all down.

Jungle Cruise.

Lilting.

I checked out the water park, which looked pretty much as it would have 4 years ago when still open. Most interesting was the clock that told the correct time. I guess the park still has power.

6:15

I investigated the cable-car ride through the Matterhorn-like mountain. Some good shots of heavy machinery.

Mountain. A coaster ride goes round the outside, while the cable-car goes through.

Ah, some good overgrowth here too.

Love this color. Is it rust? Could it have rusted so quickly?

Shooting towards the mountain.

Waiting cable-cars.

Most of the buildings and indoor rides were sealed up. I could have broken in, but there was no point- I could see through the windows of most, and it was obvious they were only empty shells. I meandered through the park a final time picking up any extra shots that stood out.

Fantasy castle by day.

Beautiful sky.

And, this is Napoleon. There wasn`t any obvious reason why he should be there. He was opposite Abraham Lincoln.

Merry-go-round.

Horse-head triptych.

Please keep arms, legs, and head within the car at all times.

Around 7am-ish I headed out, to wait for Florian who was still stalking around shooting like crazy.

Some Dreamland walkthrough video:

After this I headed over to Kobe to hike up a mountain and shoot the famous ruined Maya Hotel. I`ll post the convoluted story of how I over-hiked by about 3 hours (on 30mins sleep) next time.

I’ve also since added a Dreamland: Heyday article, featuring photos from visitors to Dreamland from across its 45 year lifespan. If you’d like to see the place only a few years after it was opened in 1961, take a look.

You can buy prints of a few photos here.

See more haikyo here.

Comments 115

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  1. Great shots up there of Nara Dreamland at night! What sort of settings were you using for the long exposures? Nice job staying up all night too. That must have been a long trip!

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      Cheers Mike- for the night shots I was doing the maximum exposure time on my d90, which is 30 seconds, with the aperture wide open at 2.8 and occasionally upping the ISO to 800 if needed.
      I`m still knackered from the trip and the hiking now. I ended up going up Mt. Rokko, the wrong mountain, to the top, then had to go back down to get to Maya. Arrgh.

        1. Well, Yes, the bulb function of the Nikon D90 is limited when not using a remote shutter. But when you use a remote shutter control the bulb function can be fully used.

  2. Awesome stuff Mikey – looks like a great spot to visit and you captured it really well. I love the Aska coaster – must have been exhilarating being on top!

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  3. Hey! What fabulous pictures!! Is this Nara park near the Nara – Kyoto, old capital of Japan? Always amazed how things are just left…no selling on of fittings, etc.

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      Thanks mom, and yes, it’s in old Nara. When we were walking to the park I was definitely taken aback by all the old-style buildings lining our way. Of course Nara is famous for that, but I assumed that was only the tourist areas. I guess though it’s everywhere!

      Agreed, it’s always strange when they leave so much stuff behind. Although at Dreamland every portable thing really was gone, every shop was empty- only the rides remained.

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      Right, I read on some site (possibly Wikipedia) that the level of copying was almost cause for a copyright lawsuit from Disney. At times they even had a Mickey Mouse face emblazoned in the central flower bank. Different times…

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  4. Hi Michael,

    Astonishing photos: grand, small, intimate, empty, barren and beautiful.

    Any news on the abandoned Holland Village I told you about some time ago??

    Will keep following your site. Continue your fantastic efforts, much appreciated

    Harm

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      Thanks Harm, I really wanted to show a side of the place I hadn’t seen myself yet (in galleries of Dreamland on the net), and that wouldn’t just be the same photos I could have got if I’d been a tourist when it was alive. Going in at night, walking the rides, getting up close to stuff- that really helped.
      Holland Village, I know we talked about this but I forget, do you mean Huis Ten Bosch in Kyushu? In the case of that place, it went bankrupt and got bought out by a big travel agency called HIS.
      Thanks for your patronage!

      1. Tue, after your post I checked out some other sites on Dreamland. Most all of them were shot in daytime. Makes it all less dramatic than your shots. Your shots have a feeling of telling a story (as if you can still see the fathers and mothers walking with their children through the streats and riding the rides). Some on the internet equate Dreamland a little with the themepark in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

        I didn’t know that about Huis ten Bosch. Does this mean It will reboot?
        Well the information on Holland Village is on your page about Sports Theme World. On Google Maps its due south of Huis ten Bosch, east to Liancourt Rocks and somewhat north of Saihi JHS. But as mentioned before more details on your page on Sports Theme World. It is of course kind of far away as you live in Tokyo and this all the way in Kyushu. Id really like to see something of it as I visited this place during my youth in Japan. Seeing your beautiful photographs I elect you as prime candidate to do a series on this place:-)

        Nice talking to you again,

        Harm

  5. great shots MJG. Kinda reminds me of Coney Island back in my hometown, especially that rollorcoaster. looks like a straight rip-off of The Cyclone (one of the oldest in the US) But Coney Island is now like a living haikyo lol Might even be actual haikyo by now. Anyway, great work!

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      Cheers Loco, and yeah I think I read somewhere that it IS a rip-off of the Cyclone. Is Coney Island even there at all now? I went there like 10 years back and don`t remember seeing many rides…

      1. Actually, Bruh, I couldn’t tell you. The last time went there, back in 2006, it was still there and operational… But I heard Coney Island has been bought out by some big time developer…and well you know that goes )-: I’ve heard hotels, casinos, all kinds of rumors…The Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league baseball team, has a new stadium there, and of course the original Nathans Hot Dog shop (where some Japanese guy keeps winning the Hot dog eating contest annually) is still there after 100 years or so. I don’t think the Cyclone was given landmark status though it should have. I hope it’s still there
        I think that Creamland sign should have been a dead giveaway for me. Coney Island used to be home to the original Dreamland back in the 30s or 20s. Burned to the ground back in the 50s I think. Its all on Wiki I’m sure
        Loco

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          I didn’t know they even copied the name from a US park too- thanks for sharing that, though I guess since it’s in English it’s a fair bet they did. My one trip to Coney Island felt very surreal- like I’d just stepped off the edge of the world. For sky-scraping and bustling Manhattan to a dusty quiet beach,

          Have you ever seen the movie Dark City? I always feel about Coney Island the same way they feel about Shell Beach in that movie. Like it isn’t really real, or couldn’t be…

  6. this is great mike… lurve it! we r planning a japan this coming Feb… again… this time we plan to go hokkaido…any interesting haikyo along the way?

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      Thanks Dom, and yes there are plenty of haikyo in Hokkadio- mostly mines and mining towns. I`ve never been but might take the time out to come visit with you guys.

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  7. Beautiful photography! I am not sure which brings me back time and time again – the photography or the actual abandoned sites! I am fascinated by anything abandoned, so I think the pictures are just an added bonus. Keep up the great work!

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      Thanks Sue, and I guess I have a mixed attraction to these places myself too- at first it was just the thrill of exploring, and now it`s more a mix of things; the desire to take interesting photos, the fun of meeting other haikyoists, the explore, and also just enjoying traveling and getting out and about. It`s a hobby that covers a lot of bases 🙂

  8. Hey Mike,

    great pictures – and I told you: Nara Dreamland will create traffic / feedback! The stuff I published about it is by far the most popular on my blog. (I hope to put up my version of the exploration next week.) And judging by the amount of comments you are doing pretty damn well with it, too. It was a great exploration and I’m looking forward to do more – in Kansai, Kanto or wherever in the world.

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  9. I’ve been following your blog, found it on a whim some time back, fascinating!!! I cannot tell you how stoked I was when I saw you had visited Dreamland. It was I think one of the things that made me interested in ruings in the first place. I have looked at pretty much every other site with any info on it and it is slim pickings since it closed, then my favorite hiakyo photographer visited it, I have seriously been hoping you would! Thanks for making my day, amazing shots!!!

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      Thanks so much Shelli, you’re too kind. As I said, I’ve been meaning to get to Dreamland for a while now- looks like you were waiting for me to get there too! Cheers!

  10. Though I suppose there is no real hope of this happening, I really hope they raze Nara Dreamland. It more than a lot of other crap Japanese “amusement parks” got under my skin just being in Nara.

    Others might recall that Disney was stopped from building a Civil War themed park of sorts in Virginia about twenty years ago. Nara contains more history in about a square meter than most of the U.S. combined, so anything that, in my mind, undermines the “wa” of such a place is unnecessary.

    I’d forgotten what a complete, if poorly executed, copy it was of Disneyland in Anaheim.

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      Hi Jeffrey, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can definitely see your point, especially in light of how tawdry Dreamland seemed by day. Even more so to know that it was just a copy.

      At the time it was built though I don`t think there was anything comparable in the surrounding area, so people in Kansai must have thought it was awesome. It`s great to have a lot of history, but dry history is not as much fun (certainly for kids) as a theme park, so I don`t begrudge it it`s existence.

      In all likelihood it`ll get dismantled soon. I don`t see the local council letting it just remain there forever.

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      Thanks Josh, though I don`t know if I`ll be doing it too much more in coming months- there`s not really many places left to go to.

      Collaborate- sure!

  11. fricken great set man. Im heading to Japan in a couple weeks to do some exploring. Id love to hit this place up and get some shots. You have some amazing places on your site.

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      Edsel- Cheers, and good luck with your explores, Dreamland is easy to find, and pretty easy to access, especially if you go by night. Florian describes entry pretty accurately on his site, if you want a few tips.

  12. Beautiful!

    Wish I had the guts to go and explore these places out. They look so beautiful in photos, it’s probably 100x better going there in person.

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      Hi Nicole- there`s definitely an atmosphere if you go in person, which is only heightened if you go at night. The photos may on occasion make a place look cooler than it really is, but they can`t really capture the atmosphere, so I think it comes out even.

  13. I can’t believe they don’t have locked gates and barbed-wire fences. Don’t you feel at least a little guilty trespassing like that?

    1. Why should he feel guilty at all? The place is closed, rundown, will never be renovated and opened again. It’s just sitting there. Plus, if UK is just going there exploring not destroying, totally no reason to feel guilty. It’s not like he is snooping around occupied private property.

      If you think this is trespassing, read about us staying at the Russian Village theme park where we made ourselves quite at home, overnight.

      1. Of course entering Nara Dreamland is trespassing. What else do you think it is? They have security there, outside you are welcomed by signs announcing a fine if you get caught at the premises and the whole thing has a fence with no openings. Most other haikyo don’t have that and I’d still consider it trespassing. (Any lawyers present?) Nevertheless I don’t feel guilty either as the way I practice urban exploration it is indeed a “victimless crime”. But that doesn’t mean that it is 100% legally correct what we are doing…
        And is a place with active security really abandoned? Or is it just closed indefinitely?

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      Hi John, it`s an interesting question. If I felt I was doing something immoral or with negative effects, sure I`d feel guilty. But I almost completely consider haikyoing to be a victimless crime- like Jason said.

      Even on occasions when I was caught in a haikyo, I didn`t feel guilty, more just sheepish and embarrassed to be caught.

      The only time I`ve felt guilty was after I returned to the Izu Sports World a second time, and saw that it had been vandalized considerably more than previously. I began to feel that perhaps my coverage of the place (which included a map to the location) had encouraged others to go there, and they had caused the damage. It was most likely a totally misplaced feeling, since the damage was almost certainly done by local kids, who had never heard of my site.

      Still I took down the maps.

  14. Good response. I suppose if they haven’t taken more aggressive steps to keep people out, they must not be that concerned. It’s hard to believe, however, that they wouldn’t tear down the attractions and at least sell the metal for scrap. Or they might consider reopening the attraction with a new “abandoned amusement park” theme. (-;

  15. Good pics, title is misleading though, it certainly isn’t the last abandoned theme park in Japan. When I first came to Japan there were over 10. Weirdly, I think I was probably the first “gaijin” to get into the abandoned Nara Dreamland. The amount of parks has depleted, but there are still some tucked away here and there…..

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      Dr. Zeus, I`d love to hear about the other abandoned theme parks in Japan. I am more than happy to stand corrected on this issue, as I`d really like to check out some others. To my knowledge though there just aren`t any, at least not proper theme parks with coasters and ferris wheels- and I`ve looked. Perhaps the title then should be `Japan`s last abandoned proper theme park with coasters to my knowledge`, but I`m sure you`ll agree that doesn`t have quite the same snap.

      Care to prove me wrong and share the wealth on any of these locations?

      Cheers on the photos, btw.

  16. Wow what a great story to read. I can only imagine how it must have felt walking around there. Love the photo’s too!

    But can you also imagine being a security guard at that place? Wouldn’t be my favorite job.

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      Thanks Remi, it was great to walk around yes, at night anyway, not so much in the day time. Agreed about being the security guard- it could only be kind of miserable, punctuated by spates of having to shout at haikyoists and threaten to call the police. Florian got stopped by the guard on a previous trip there and apparently he (the guard) went nuts, got red in the face, and put himself at risk of a heart attack. No good.

  17. Is Osaka Expoland too new to be considered haikyo? Also, how about Festivalgate (which I found extremely creepy when it was still open)? Both were civic projects, after a sort. Expoland was built on the Osaka Expo site, and Festivalgate was a city-sponsored attempt to bring tourists to a poor neighborhood in Osaka. AFAIK, both parks had rollercoaster-related deaths, which definitely contributed to Expoland’s demise. Festivalgate seemed somewhat doomed from the start.

    1. Hey k,

      I’ve been to both Expoland and Festivalgate.
      Expoland was demolished and partly re-opened as Farm Expo, a farmers market. (I put up two postings about it on my blog.)
      Festivalgate was sealed off and under the observation of security – it’s currently being demolished.

  18. Wow….I am very impressed by these high quality shots. It is sad that this park closed in 2006, it would of been fun if it was still open hehe…

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  19. I think I’ve caught your haikyo bug. Fabulous photos, fabulous narrative. I’ve been to Nara twice. If I get the chance to go again, I know I will take a side trip to Dreamland, and perhaps sneak in, if it’s still there. Your photos reminded me of two memories. One, a visit to the amusement park, Kijima (on Kyushuu). It was in the middle of the week so the park was almost deserted. Wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a haikyo. The other was my visit to Marineland of the Pacific and seeing photos of it deserted, an American haikyo.
    Thanks again.

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      Awesome, if you explore any places, feel free to link here- I”m always keen to see what other haiyoists get up to. And about going to very quiet, though still alive, theme parks- I can confirm that’s very much the same as what being in a dead theme park feels like. Once in Fuji Q there was virtually nobody around- and it felt totally abandoned. Plus it was pretty rundown at the the time.

      Thanks for commenting!

  20. I swear there’s a curse on the Dreamland name in East Asia.

    I mean honestly, both Dreamlands in Japan are ruined (one predominantly levelled), and as to the two sharing that name in Korea, one is abandoned and recently levelled last year, and I passed the other on an intercity bus the other day and it didn’t look in good shape at all.

  21. I spent time at Dreamland while on R&R from Korea in 1963. It was in its hayday then. Just comparing my pics to yours. How times change. Thanks so much.

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  22. Thanks so much for a refreshing sweet memory. My father was stationed at Tachikawa AFB Japan in the early 60’s. Our Baton Twirling Group from the base activites center was invited for the opening parade of Dreamland …. touted as the Disneyland of Japan. I have b/w photos of us with the large ferris wheel in the background. It must have been the featured attraction as it had Dreamland on it. I didn’t notice it in your collection so I asume it must be long gone. I loved the roller coaster shots. Your gift of photography is a blessing and I appreciate that you are so gracious to share.

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      Wow, thanks so much for sharing that Glenna, I love to hear memories about the places I visit. You were i the opening parade? Amazing. I bet that was such great fun. And thanks for your kind words about my photos!
      Oh, and the ferris wheel must be gone, yes. What a shame. Very few standing but ruined ferris wheels left in Japan now, I think.

  23. Beautiful photography! I am not sure which brings me back time and time again – the photography or the actual abandoned sites! I am fascinated by anything abandoned, so I think the pictures are just an added bonus. Keep up the great work!

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      Thanks so much TaoLiu! I’ll keep it up as much as I can, when I can find the places to look at. It still fascinates me to explore, though it gets harder to find really interesting places as time goes by. Gambarimasu!!

  24. Such nice photography and awesome adventure. I envy you.. lol
    I wish I could take photos like you.
    These photos reminds of some scene in a game Fragile Dreams. Such dreamy theme park is left behind. Slowing its aura of fun and thrilling dying. But among those pictures, Im sure someone out there will be reminded of certain moments the experienced when this theme park was still active.

    Awesome pictures!!!!

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      Thanks K! You’re very kind. And I’ve heard that about Fragile Dreams from a few people now, I guess I ought to check out the game. I’d never played Silent Hill either, until quite a few people recommended it- saying it was just like some of my haikyo shots. I guess I’ll go take a look, thanks for the suggestion!

      And about being reminded- right, I do get a few comments like that- one on this post about someone who went to Dreamland as a little girl. I love that stuff, making connections across time ne.

  25. Hi, just want to say that I really love all of your haikyo pictures. I recently found a cool haikyo on Ieshima, Hyogo prefecture. It’s an abandoned pachinko parlor in the hills of a tiny island, with living quarters above it. It blew my mind why anyone would want to build a pachinko parlour on such a small island, and why they didn’t pull it down when it inevitably failed. I’m definitely on the look out for more haikyo now. The feeling of exploring secret and abandoned places is awesome, isn’t it? 🙂

    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjtzWpZu my pictures of it, if anyone is interested.

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      Thanks for sharing evie- I too often wonder why these structures get built in such out-of-the way places. I guess there was demand? Or some foolhardy soul thought there was. Anyway, thanks to them, we get to enjoy weird and secret explorations. Cool.

      Oh, and so glad you like my photos! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  26. i wonder if someday peoplewill walk round disneyland like this. probablly not id guess the land value alone would stop that, still nice to wonder.

  27. Pingback: The Land That Wasn’t Disney | Disneyland Obsession .com

  28. the guard at dreamland is crazy! i got caught goin there n then he called the cops and fined me tried he to pin a bunch of damages on me for stuff that was already broken before i went there. you are so lucky you didnt get caught!

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      Damn, fined? How much? When I went in the signs pinned to fences threatened 100,000 yen- surely not that much? And the cops came, arrested you, booked you, took your details?
      That’s the reason I went in at night- especially after Florian got caught once and was forced to delete his photos. Unless you went in at night too and got stung by a night patrol?
      Whole experience sounds crappy..

    2. I can’t say it often enough: Dreamland is closed, but not abandoned! I’ve been there four times, entered the park twice, got caught once and wrote half a dozen articles about it. I’d be grateful if you could tell me / us more about getting caught – either here or please drop me a line via e-mail. (Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with that place…)

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      Exactly- and only a few years abandoned. It’ll just get more post-apocalyptic as the years roll by. I’m looking forward to revisiting when it’s totally overgrown.

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      1. They deleted the link. I added it again today. They’ll probably delete it again. I don’t know why anyone would delete an external link ? That’s just petty !

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  29. I went to Dreamland with my family when I was just a little girl living on Tachikawa Air Force Base (also a ghost town now) in the late sixties. It is a great memory. It was such a fun day – I remember a little submarine ride too. Thanks for posting these pictures.

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      Wow, a double ruin memory- pretty amazing. Maybe you know- I have ruins photos of Tachikawa Air Base on this site too- maybe that would jog a few memories too. Though it seems pretty much everything there is gone but a few old bunker-things.

      Thanks for commenting!

  30. Hi! I was just browsing through ‘World’s spookiest abandoned places’ and then I came across ‘Nara Dreamland, Osaka, Japan’ and I thought- wow! a disneyland– in japan?! – I should check it out; and this site pretty much has it all!
    I have no idea how you managed to go up that rollercoaster! I mean – I could, except- I’m afraid of heights, so when you faced the camera, showing how much you’ve gone up so far; I felt like squirming…

    I love to explore! When I hear about places long- forgotten, I have the urge to go there, curiosity, I guess ^ – ^

    Anyway, sorry for rambling on, I think what you done was pretty amazing, is what I wanted to say! hehe, keep up the good work! 🙂

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      Hi Abi, thanks for commenting! Dreamland is pretty sweet yeah- abandoned theme parks are probably my favorite kind of ruin now. Climbing that rollercoaster was definitely a highlight.

      And about curiosity- yup, I definitely have that too. Thanks, and good luck with your explores!

  31. Great Pictures Man! Though, I notice that when looking at especially Dreamland Castle , I notice, the night sky isn’t pitch black or dark, even though there are stars. Any idea why? Like the picture of Aska rollercoaster.

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      Thanks g2, and about the half-dark skies- good question. I don’t know why that happened. Light pollution? Such a long exposure that light from all over the universe entered my camera? I don’t shoot much at night, so don’t have experience to say…
      Probably it would have been much darker if I’d done short exposure- but then the castle would be pitch-black, so…

  32. Living in Karuizawa since 2 years I have seen quite a few haikyo in the form of old houses or Love Hotels/Motels, but it never occured to me to venture inside, esp since those wooden structures are not very trustful…Have you info about the closed German theme park in Hokkaido, near the Obihiro airport? They copied a castle, complete with huge paintings inside, should be worthwhile to explore at night

    1. funny, America has been copying a lot of things from Japan recently too. especially when it comes to movies and shows which in my opinion usually suck and fail.

  33. I once saw an old publicity shot of this park, showing a Peter Pan’s Flight kind of ride (although obviously not themed to Peter Pan). As you walked through the park, did you get any proof of its existence? I think it might have been in the castle courtyard?

  34. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Very helpful information specially the final section 🙂 I take care of such information a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  35. Hi, I am a big fan of your work, so much so I am thinking about exploring this coming long weekend. If you are planning anything and need a companion / someone to share expenses with then let me know. The wife is working this weekend so i have a free pass 🙂

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