Gluck Kingdom

We were in beautiful Hokkaido for a little weekend, not blessed at all by the weather. I made of the constant drizzly rain a good excuse for me to explore many places where we could eat butadon, an amazingly delicious pork bowl. They have a lot of shops in the area of Obihiro and they are sensational. You must try it.

When we landed at the entrance of the Gluck Kingdom (グリュック王国), an abandoned theme park, there was a little barbed fence with the corpse of a human-size doll on it. Around it, a lot of Keep Out and No Entry signs. This haikyo did not seem very friendly from the beginning. On top of that, I was a little concerned with the local population, more specifically with the bear population. A friend mentioned that explorers had spotted one of these strolling in the park before. At the time, I had never seen a bear with my own eyes and was a little suspicious about this kind of information. The local police was also very active around this area, constantly checking if anyone was going in, that would be easy to give the trespassers an expensive entry ticket. However, as we went that far, at this point, we couldn’t really afford to hesitate. We parked the car far away from the place to avoid it to be seen and then we jumped over the fence.

After a hundred meters, a huge parking lot suddenly appeared. The sky cleared a bit, the rains stopped, and it seemed we were lucky after all. The only thing missing would have been a few tiny bear cubs to come and play with us without their mother. Without any hesitation, we entered through a windmill that seemed to be an entrance and found ourselves right in the middle of an abandoned medieval German castle. The park is actually very well made; they even imported the pavements from Germany to make it feel more real! In the back of the medieval castle there is also a big attraction park with a few roller-coasters and a ferris’ wheel. If the weather would have been better I would have definitely spend the whole day there, taking photos. This place is full of opportunities!

My Japanese teacher went there in the 90’s and showed me a few photos she took in the park: it was already a ghost town. She added that many shops were not even selling German products but Japanese ones instead. The lack of visitors inevitably led the park to close its big doors sometimes in 2007. It is quite sad since it was part of a big marketing plan made by the Hokkaido prefecture to attract visitors to various parts of the island, all of them with their own theme park.

The Gluck Kingdom opened in 1989 and closed in 2007. Well, now, what about some more butadon?

Wikipedia (JP): グリュック王国
Website: Gluck Oukoku on Archive.org

HIGHLIGHTS

– abandoned medieval castle
– attraction park
fearing the bears

FACTS

  • 1989 – 2007
  • Momanator

    John Lennon Art Center in a German construct. located in Asia? WOW, what at mesh up.

    • They tried to add interest to the place, even though it doesn’t make sense. Or maybe there is something we don’t know?

      • Sleepy Snake

        There’s a John Lennon Gymnasium school in Berlin but it sure doesn’t look like Berlin here.

    • Wes

      Imagine all the people… who never visited. 🙂

  • did you get any more photos inside the Lennon gallery or is it stripped out?
    What are the buildings like inside?

  • Puck

    This could be the set for a Ghibli film, Howl’s moving Castle?

  • Acronyc

    While I was living in Hokkaido I went there twice, both in 2004. The second time we were able to find our way inside through open windows/doors in the main hotel and other buildings. Back then, everything was still in the hotel. Rooms had neatly tucked beds, bathrooms were still stocked with soap and shampoo, and the dining hall looked like it was ready for a dinner that never happened. I have a lot of photos and videos of the trip and should really get around to posting them someday.

    • That would be awesome to see those photos, now the hotel is really in a bad state and not really interesting. Could you share a few photos here in the comments when you have time? I am really curious! Thanks a lot 🙂

      • Acronyc

        No worries, I made a post about it just now on my website: http://www.acronychal.org/haikyo

        Feel free to use, edit, or repost the photos. They were taken 10 years ago, so about 3 years after the park closed. It was still in pretty good shape back then. It looks like nature is really taking its course there now.

        • Joerg

          It’s not possible to enter the site “http://www.acronychal.org/haik…” there is name and password requierd …

          • Acronyc

            Yeah, had a problem with my server but it’s all fixed now. Sorry about that!

  • Gianluigi Bosco

    It looks cool! Do anybody know the current state of it? Is it still standing?

  • Wes

    Found this place on Google Maps… man it is really out in the sticks.

    • Yes, this place is far from everything. Hence all the bears 🙂

      • Wes

        I guess in Hokkaido that would be a consideration, is that common in that area?

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