Culture/History TOCHIGI

Wild West Meets East at Abandoned Theme Park

Hidden among overgrown flora, a dilapidated theme park wastes away in Tochigi prefecture. A veritable ghost town, Western Village is host to little more than artificial stand-ins living within its walls,  frozen in time.  Though the park closed its doors to patrons in 2012, it has since remained as an attraction to those searching for something a bit off the beaten path.  Anyone interested in  ‘haikyo’ (a Japanese word for “ruins”) would find plenty to explore here.

The Sheriff taking it easy

29808429181_2943de4036_z

Upon entering the mysterious place, you’ll soon realize the townsfolk aren’t all that talkative. The sheriff sits gazing out the window of the local police station while the bank teller stands patiently at his counter against a backdrop of deteriorating money and dust.

Some residents have seen better days

On closer inspection you can see that some of the mannequins are actually automatons and not all of them have remained intact. It’s clear that the place has suffered some vandalism which in many cases has managed to provide an atmosphere not unlike a haunted house. Displaced mannequin parts can be found in the halls and hanging from walls. And a few of the less fortunate robotic residents have their ‘parts’ exposed.

Welcome to the arcade

29264440884_9a66782e35_z

An arcade still stands, complete with plenty of rusted broken-down games and a defeated yet smiling mascot. It’s hard to imagine that all of this was completely abandoned but it perfectly complements the overall aura.

The center of the maze

29264440454_73c81c2e58_z

One particularly unsettling area was a kind of maze. Featuring contorted architecture, pitch black halls, and an ominously lit  chair, this place was like an asymmetrical nightmare.

No more rodeos

29264441414_499961e5d3_z

Shimo-Imaichi station is the closest train station to Western Village. It is just under a 3 hour train ride from Tokyo so it makes a good day trip for the adventurous. As with most haikyo locations, enter at your own risk and watch your step.

 

Address: 
Western Village, 315 Kuribara, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-2421

 

Article by: Dennis Owen Dugan

Photos by: Dennis Owen Dugan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply