Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth. And this place could easily be the saddest.
Welcome to Nara Dreamland, an abandoned theme park in Japan’s Nara Prefecture. The park opened in 1961 as “the Japanese answer” to Disneyland, according to Atlas Obscura, but the dream didn’t last forever.
Just about 45 years after opening day, popularity dwindled, and Dreamland was shuttered for good. Now weeds and decay are its only visitors, along with some brave urban explorers who stop by to check out the haunting leftovers of what once was a magical park.
Photographer Romain Veillon visited Dreamland last month and entered through the front gate without any trouble, he told HuffPost. Other visitors point out entering the park this is illegal, so we definitely don’t recommend following suit, but that hasn’t stopped visitors like Veillon from exploring again and again.
Inside Dreamland, “the atmosphere is strange,” said Veillon, who included photos of the park in his book Ask The Dust. “When you think about all the good memories that were made there, you get nostalgic about the time when the park was full of joy and people.”
Take a look:
See more photos of Nara Dreamland in Ask The Dust.