Abandoned Dreamland



Urban explorers have descended upon the abandoned ruins of Nara Dreamland, revealing in some detail the spectacle of a celebrated amusement park descending into ruin.

The park proper, as photographed by a Russian explorer:


Nara Dreamland opened in 1961 in the shadow of Nara proper,  and closed completely in 2006 after flagging attendance and years of restricted weekends-only operation.


Critics of China should take note – the park was originally built as a flagrant copy of Disneyland in California (almost down to the name), during a period of rapid development in which Japan’s utter disregard for intellectual property strongly resembled that of China today.

The Japanese developers initially received free technical support and the blessing of Walt Disney himself, with the understanding that they would be independently developing a uniquely Japanese park.

However, after it became apparent they had simply made a cheap copy of Disneyland whilst tricking Disney into helping them, Walt Disney is said to have been outraged and Disney was to harbour profound mistrust of the Japanese for years to come, going so far as to block the companies behind the project from participating in its own flagship Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 1983.

It is of course ironic that today it is Japanese companies in China complaining of precisely these kinds of antics…

The ruins themselves seem unlikely to endure much longer, as Nara is considering levelling the site for use as a parking lot for more cultural attractions such as the nearby Heijō Palace – although given the level of taste displayed in the park, a parking lot might represent some improvement.

Which is more impressive, the amount of expensive fixtures left to rot in the sun or the fact that so little of it has been looted or vandalised, is left to the observer to determine.

More abandoned places

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    20:39 17/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I want to ride around in the pikachu bumper car.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:13 17/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    same!!! I totally want to ride in the pikachu bumper car too!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:46 17/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And I want to steal it, nobody would notice it anyways...

    Comment by Char
    12:55 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks like someone tried to steal it but gave up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:41 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want to bump and ride the pikachu in the car!!

    Avatar of Pyrus
    Comment by Pyrus
    07:11 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sure it'll be an electrifying experience.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    20:26 17/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Just save this Amusement Park from demolition, it's a perfect place to film horror movies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:02 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even though this was a 'copy' this place stood (is still standing after over 60 years. With most of the wooden roller coasters probably being there since the park opened. That shows a great amount of dedication and hard work. Despite it being a 'cheap clone.'

    It's a shame that something like this has been left to rot. I don't know what happened that resulted in the park's closure. (why it was only open on the the weekends and why attendance was down.)but leaving it like this is a damn shame. It looks like they closed the park for the day and never reopened.

    If this had been built in China, it probably wouldn't have been there as long as it was. Not because of spotty craftsmanship (though that probably would be a unlined cause) But because it would have been constantly been under 'rushed' renovated when ever the 'creature' (ie the original) added or took away an attraction.

    Also to all of you saying that all those arcade cabinets are worth taking. Understand this. There isn't much demand for the large ones. Since most people don't have space for them. So they're probably best sold off for parts. The small ones, yes. Assuming they still work. Though judging by the pictures, probably not. Since they've been left exposed to the elements for almost a decade.

    BTw lol pirate viking!

    Avatar of fishb0wl
    Comment by fishb0wl
    04:44 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    sorry, but you put
    a little too much thought/response
    for the people of this site

    just a heads up

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:57 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Are you implying that Sankakians are stupid or something?

    Avatar of Pyrus
    Comment by Pyrus
    07:15 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anon @ 15:57

    Not stupid, just here for the laughs. Very little stuff posted here is taken seriously even when it should be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:37 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Survival horror movies, involving a lost group of high schoolers, their teacher, a slightly deranged survivalist and fifty thousand zombies...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:00 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    there's a manga already out about that lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:27 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sarcasm at its finest affecting people seriously.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:51 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    20:43 17/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The guy's only mistake is to not take all of these pictures... AT NIGHT...

    Lakeside Amusement Park?

    Avatar of Meester Kennedy
    Comment by Meester Kennedy
    00:25 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Now we need some monster cosplayers and maybe a bloody Robbie or two.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:40 17/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Wow theres litterally a small treasure of arcade machines there im very surprised to see those havent been sold or looted yet since its relatively easy to do. I Would take them at least.

    Avatar of matrigs
    Comment by matrigs
    00:24 18/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    that's the whole difference between eastern and western thinking.

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    03:15 19/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Nah man, we have places that are deserted and just sitting around rotting also.

    Look at Detroit and Cleveland.

    Avatar of Pyrus
    Comment by Pyrus
    07:30 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And North Philadelphia [PA] too...
    Even with the various revitalization projects going on there, the place still looks like a war zone in a lot of places.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:04 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They're just rotting anyway, though. *Not* stealing them would be a waste, in this case. =(

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:45 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's absolutely nothing ethically wrong about that; to think that letting treasures like that rot away is in anyway "right" in some moral sense is naive. The world is not as black and white as you think.

    Avatar of matrigs
    Comment by matrigs
    04:34 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's not about the value of what is rotting. fact is - it is still someone's property. someone paid for it. and that someone can do what he wants with it.

    i wouldn't really want someone to steal my rake out of the backyard because he felt that it was "rotting away"

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:54 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's probably all owned by a bank at this point. It looks like there's little intent to sell them after ten years. Though it would be great if people interested could get in touch with the owners.

    If I had the spare dough and the space I'd consider pursuing the 3rdmix Machine.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:20 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    in some misguided and ethically wrong way I agree.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:42 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, they're just rotting away because there's nowhere to store them. Seriously, where would your average teenage thief keep a deluxe cabinet arcade machine and more importantly, how would he transport it? Those babies won't fit in the back of a Civic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:04 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    my bedroom got enough space for that pump it up arcade e.e

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But your bedroom is not a 1-room japanese flat.

    Comment by Char
    13:09 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It really is a waste they should have donated those arcade machines to a youth group or sold them on ebay.

    Comment by Anonymous

    that's the whole difference between schneizel's and charles' thinking...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:56 17/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I thought the same thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:02 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice place for a Joker's secret hideout from Batman

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I though the same, or even the abandoned amusement park that appears in one of Cowboy Bebop's episodes

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:09 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Loot all the roller coasters and install them in your backyard >.>

    Avatar of Morgadeth
    Comment by Morgadeth
    10:52 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The PCB boards are probably long gone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:50 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nobody needs those, but i saw a lot of arcade monitors there and the cabs alone are a dream for any MAME arcade builder.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:04 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Arcades from China? it'll probably explode

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 17/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Looks like Sanzenin Nagi's private theme park.
    Her grandfather must be the person who tricked Walt Disney.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:40 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Knowing the sod, he probably did do something like this.

    Avatar of Gigavolt
    Comment by Gigavolt
    19:58 17/08/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)


    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    22:26 17/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I'd take that Pikachu ride.

    Avatar of AzureXuchilbara
    Comment by AzureXuchilbara
    06:07 18/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    That entire melancholic and ruined place...

    It reminds me of the amusement park in the videogame "Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon"...

    The ruined roller coaster section is giving me deja vu vibes to be exact...

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It reminds me of what Chihiro's father was talking about at the beginning of Spirited Away.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Spare parts always useful
    Would not mind raiding those old arcade machines

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:03 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All it needs is a few zombies to come at you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:03 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Fking truth. and a baseball bat and a pair of cup G students.

    Comment by Char
    13:03 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same here I'd want to bring a moving van and load up some of those arcade machines.

    Really if this place was in the US I'd give it the Marisa Kirisame treatment.

    In this case it's not stealing as that stuff is just rotting away it's salvaging.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:19 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of Ao no Exorcist

    *Comments on the first commenter so they can see my comment*


    Comment by Anonymous
    04:28 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I lol'd

    Comment by Anonymous

    Loot all those arcade machines those fetch a pretty penny beside i want the 3rd mix machine lol

    Avatar of Gradius
    Comment by Gradius
    02:11 18/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same the arcades is all I want there!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:47 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same here! I can't believe they just left them (and no one has taken them so far), I mean they COULD fetch a nice price on ebay at least. Personally I would build many different MAME machines of it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I bet someone pissed in water of the pool rides, thus it became abandoned.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:52 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    fags give me a neg not knowing that's what an oni is. fags.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Not just someone, it was a giant blue ogre. After he demanded tribute.

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