Nara Dreamland

In the outskirts of Nara, the last bits of spirit are leaving this abandoned amusement park. It closed in 2006, after its number of visitors dropped dramatically in the aftermath of the opening of the new Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka Universal Studio.

Nara Dreamland (奈良ドリームランド) used to be a cute and kind of famous amusement park. It was built in 1961, six years after the original Disneyland in California. Its layout is entirely based on Disneyland and negotiations with Walt Disney himself occurred: Nara Dreamland was supposed to be a Disneyland! Unfortunately, it failed. It is usually difficult and very procedural-intensive for an occidental concept to be imported in Japan. I think the American firm was not willing to have their brand too alienated neither. The final result is quite good for the haikyoists however: here we have now an abandoned-looking Disneyland, ideal for a very romantic day and night walk.

Read the whole story about my exploration here: Nara Dreamland.

  • Suzy
    • Thanks it’s cool! I have a few more places here as well:

  • MattTheSpratt

    Always a shame to see good arcade games go to waste.
    I bet some of them still work, too.

    • I wonder why they’re keeping them here. That could be easily sold to some bars somewhere, or even some people just might be super interested in having one of those in their garage!

      • Jaime

        hey Jordy how are you , are you still in Japan? I am in Tokyo at the moment and i would like to be taken to some of this places to take photographs any suggestions ?

  • Ju

    Je testerai bien la #29 😀
    La Nature reprend toujours le dessus.

  • Umka

    Hello, how did you get into? Is there a nice path – or you need to make your way through? how “rough” is it? also are there any personnel left in there who watch for explorers etc?

    • A nice path, not really. But the easiest way is also the best in this case. Look around 🙂 There are guards during daytime though.

  • épavart

    On a du mal à croire que c’est abandonné dans un pays ou il y a déja peu de place !

  • Geofffroy

    Bonjour, je voudrais savoir s’il est difficile de rentrer et ce qu’on risque à y aller? Je te remercie pour ces superbes photos!

    • Le risque de se faire éjecter du pays et de payer une grosse amende. Il faut bien-sûr faire très attention, surtout que le lieu est devenu assez populaire.

  • missDD86

    Other information that you could include is the fact that not only is this place inspired by Disneyland, Walt Disney himself actually personally coached the owner on how to design this Disney-like park. He also sent one of his own Disneyland Technicians and Imagineer to assist with the instruction on building the park. The attendance rates went down due to lack of updates, and low attendance because someone finally stepped up and opened an actual Disney park in Japan, Tokyo Disneyland. Universal Studios Japan opening also directly affected attendance to this park, according to the actual Japanese Wiki. Walt Disney originally never had an intention to open a park in Japan, nor did he have a plan to offer licensing for character use, but once Walt Disney himself died, obviously whoever was left to run the company could make whatever decisions they wanted. Tokyo Disneyland is not owned or operated by the Walt Disney company, oddly enough; The Oriental Company owns and operates the park, but they do have the licensing agreements with Disney which is why they can use the characters and design.

    Anyway, just offering more insightful information. A lot of the true information about these places you visited can be found right in the Japanese Wikipedia and can be translated to know what really happened.

  • FlatPeach

    The monorail looks a little different now…….sad.

    • I have visited the park recently but didn’t go see the monorail… indeed, it changed a lot… and the park has graffitis everywhere…

  • Jade Richards-Butler

    Is there a fine if caught? How easy is this place to find? I’m thinking of heading there later this year.

  • Audrey Bucaneg

    {I Really Want To Visit, *Nara Dreamland*!} {Your Pictures Are Simply Stunning, And I Can Always Visualize Something Unique Everytime, I Look At Your *Haikyo Pictures*!} {It Makes Me Want To Visit There Really Badly!}

  • Niche

    Sadlly Nara Dreamland is no more. It is just a pile of rubble now! 🙁
    Fingers crossed Western Village is still standing.

    • Unfortunately 🙁 I guess Western Village is still here. Please let a comment on the Western Village if you go there 🙂

      • Mark Serdtse

        Some one can confirm what this place is not exist anymore? Will be there next Monday. It was one of my dreams to check it.
        Maybe they still have some buildings there? Or its totally destroyed?

  • This is by far the most amazing one and you gave it your best shots. Hats off.
    Such a shame they’re destroying it, it’s… crime! I would really have wanted to see it ever from afar (probably wouldn’t have risked the fine). SO MAGNIFICENT.


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