Photographer Romain Veillon has captured Nara Dreamland, an abandoned theme park in Japan, in these eerie pictures of the once popular destination. His photos highlight how nature has taken over the park with weeds growing through the concrete and huge bushes engulfing the large rollercoasters. Veillon managed to get these extraordinary pictures before the park was finally demolished in 2016, after sitting there unused for 10 years!
The themepark was built in 1961, with the creator Japanese businessman Kunizu Matsuo, hoping it would be Japan’s answer to Disneyland. However the globalisation of Disney saw it’s own parks being built nearby in Osaka and Tokyo and Nara Dreamland lost many customers. The inability of Nara Dreamland to compete with the Disney brand saw it’s eventual closure in 2006, however the park remained untouched for another ten years.
As a result it became a popular destination for so called “haikyoists” or urban explorers who exploited the park’s abandonment and made use of the acres of deserted rides and rollercoasters.
There’s something rather creepy almost about the way the park was just left, all the hours of meticulous planning and design put in to make the park and all the engineering involved in building the rides, HEKKTA looks at these pictures with a sense of melancholy. We hope that the structures were used to for something else rather than just dumped. But we salute Romain Veillon’s photography of this extraordinary place in showing how nature takes it’s land back once we forget all about it as he stated,
“All good dreams must come to an end…It was an incredible feeling to be able to explore and photograph this place over an entire day, and imagine how it was to be on the roller coaster or just to wander in the little streets of this paradise.”
“But I am sad that nobody can still have an afternoon back in time like me; and that Nara Dreamland will now only stay in my memory,” he added.
“Nature reclaimed the park, which disappeared slowly under the vegetation, and created an even more magical and unique atmosphere…but even this abandoned time had to come to an end.”