Nara Dreamland is our main aim for this time travelling to Osaka (Osaka has more Airb&b choice, that is why we stay in Osaka). Since last time we accidentally visited an abandoned theme park in Nikko - Western Village, we had a quite special experience and more interested in this kind of places. You can see so many old things that been left inside these kinds of abandoned places. People actually left everything when they decide to close/leave a place.
Nara Dreamland 奈良ドリームランド was inspired by Disneyland, California. It was built in 1961 then due to low visitors, and Universal Studios Japan opened in Osaka, it closed in 2006. Then from that time, Nara Dreamland has been abandoned until now, there is some voices say that Nara government already bought this land for some future project, maybe one day it will disappear forever.
I saw some people been there saying that there is security inside the park to stop people get in. There are five of us, we rent a car from Osaka to Nara, and we miss calculating the traffic time, which spent us nearly 90 minutes to arrive here. We parked our car in a nearby car park, then walk towards the back entrance, which we found when driving around the park. If you want to go, I found this article wrote by Paul which is very helpful to finding a way in.
We don't want to be caught by security and send back to our country, so we are very "careful" about everything. When we driving around we saw two small cars stop by the two back entrances, they must be security, otherwise no one wants to stop there and have a break I guess. After we parked the car and walked back, they still there, so we found a hole in the middle of those two back entrances, and quickly "get" in. I recommend bring some builder gloves and wear sports outfit for this, you really don't want to be hurt by wood like me, or get lots of random bites.
The place we got in is closer to the water park, which is amazing. After we back home, and I find a map of Nara Dreamland, the place we got in was the west side of the park. We walked a little bit into the park, but when 3 of our guys climbing onto one of the rollercoasters, my friend and I saw an old guy holding something and walking towards us. That must be security... we don't know what to do, the first thing was run to the corner and hide in woods. When our guys found us, we decided maybe go out first, so we get out from where we get in.
But we can't leave this amazing abandoned theme park behind, so we just get ourselves cool down a little bit, then we decided to go back in. We double check both back entrance without cars there, then quickly jumped in, this time, we used one of the back entrance, This time, is closer to the main road which towards to the castle.
We were afraid caught by security again, also the sky is kind of turning dark (BTW we arrived there maybe around 3pm, I knew it was not enough time, but when you travel with friends, somehow you can't do what you want all the time). And all of us want to climb on that wooden rollercoaster, so we didn't go towards the castle. (So shame we didn't even explore half of the Nara Dreamland).
When we climbing it, I was so scary, but it definitely worth it! The view up there is amazing. Nothing can explain the feeling when you reach the top. At the main time, I feel so sad for this huge theme park and people who used to worked here, imagine how many people lost their jobs because of its closure.
I never imagine that I will go to the different abandoned theme parks in my life, but I did. When you see it, and when you know the story behind the places, it makes the photographs have more meaning. Some people maybe just want to get in and destroy things, but I go there because I want to use my camera to memorise this kind of "cool" places.
My next abandoned theme park might be Gulliver's Kingdom located near Fuji Moutain, but due to this theme park very closer to the suicide forest, it makes me kind of uncomfortable, maybe bring some garlic and onions with me next trip.