While I was in Osaka, I met a girl at my guesthouse who introduced me this abandoned amusement park in Nara. Running around abandoned places and photographing isn’t really my thing anymore, but how could I pass on an opportunity like this. We made the short train ride to Nara and looked for a way in. It’s guarded at the front gate by security, so we walked a little further down the road and found an opening in the trees through the back. Once we got inside and started exploring, we met a group of photographers from Australia who had frequented the place. They gave us the low down that the security guard passes through the park to look for trespassers every few hours, so we had to be sneaky and careful as to not get caught. The last thing I needed was a run in with Japanese police. No thanks. The light was also falling fast as the sun sets around 5:30PM this time of year. So we only had a couple of hours in the park before the security guard made his last round before dusk. I felt a little rushed photographically, but it was still super cool to see and walk through. It had a very zombie apocalypse like feel to it and at times, it felt like you could still hear the rides going on and children laughing and screaming. Add in the giant crows that were swooping overhead cawing and it had an even more creepy feel.
Dreamland first opened in 1961 and closed in 2006 due to the popularity of Tokyo Disney. I’m not sure why it hasn’t been torn down, but it’s pretty much been left as is since then. Some of my favorite souvenirs from Japan come from this place. I found some admission tickets left in one of the offices and I also brought home some Ultraman dinnerware from the Ultraman restaurant. I’m still editing through these images but will post more once I put them all together.
Nara Dreamland, Japan, 2015