Inside Japan’s Forgotten Amusement Parks

Photographer Reginald Van de Velde went to Japan for the sole purpose of exploring its abandonments. He says, “The Land of the Rising Sun is cramped with derelict goodies, and they’re on a scale you’ve never seen before.”

1. Nara Dreamland


Inspired by Disneyland California, Nara Dreamland was built in 1961 and had an almost identical design of attractions and rides as its American idol. With the startup of Disneyland Tokyo and Universal Studios Japan, Nara Dreamland lost its grandeur and clientele, and finally closed its doors in 2006.

8. Western Village


A giant 27 million dollar replica of Mount Rushmore sits abandoned in a defunct Japanese amusement park. Western Village was built in 1975 and was forced to close down in 2007 due to its remote location and the increasing success of Disneyland Tokyo.

27. Family Land


Backlit by the powerful lights of a golf course, this enormous ferris wheel sits abandoned near the beautiful Biwa lake, Shiga Prefecture. It is the sole remainder of Family Land, a Japanese theme park that closed in 1970.

32. Big Mountain Pachinko


The view inside one of Japan’s many closed down Pachinko parlors. Pachinko is a mechanical arcade game/gambling device comparable the slot machines in Western gaming. It resembles a vertical pinball machine where the player fires small metal balls into the machine, which then cascade down through a dense forest of pins. When travelling Japan, one stumbles upon many abandoned Pachinko parlors along the road.

37. You can check out more of Reginald’s photography of abandoned places at his Facebook page.

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