In this post I’ll provide news about the demolition of Nara Dreamland. Yes, that’s right – Nara Dreamland is being demolished.
Afer the park closed in 2006, urban explorers could roam the decaying park to their hearts’ content. Then a development company called SK housing (that’s your cue to boo, reader) bought the site in November 2015, and in October 2016 they started demolishing the park to build housing for the elderly. Demolition is set to finish in December 2017.
I’ll provide a month-by-month analysis of the events so far.
It seems that preparation work began in May 2016. In this month, SK Housing “placed a ton of scaffolding on the parking lot at the main entrance and they protected them with two new solid construction fences”, according to Florian Seidel at abandonedkansai.com.
After May, Seidel reported that “barely anything happened for another four months”. But then in September, preparation work began in earnest:
On September 9th SK Housing started to become really active by putting up office containers and porter potties at the lower end of the parking lot, the large construction fence with the main gate. […] A week later I saw heavy machinery inside the park, yet it was still possible to walk right in. […] When I came back on September 24th, I realized that prep work had begun in the week of September 19th. The previously mentioned office in the City Hall was cleaned out, so were several other buildings of the fake Main Street USA. And while I was taking photos, I got yelled at and shooed away.
On October 14th, 2016, an urban explorer reported, “They are definitely demolishing the main street buildings. The caterpillar-type vehicles are tearing it all down to piles of rubble. Looks like there won’t be much left pretty soon. If anyone still wanted to visit the park and see any of what still remains of the entrance area (outside these guys’ work hours), then go now.”
In his photo, we can Japanese construction workers huddling around what looks to be a portacabin. Behind them, hydraulic machinery are tearing down buildings just to the left of the park’s Main Street.
On 15 October 2016, Leigel wrote:
A crew with heavy machinery was demolishing the Main Street USA. Most of the vegetation along the road had been completely removed. At the same time gates were fortified and holes in the fence were fixed. According to large new signs, SK Housing were threatening to sue every unauthorized person caught on the premises.
Here’s a few photos from a tweet from October 16th, 2016. The photos give the impression that the Main Street is awash with rubble.
The iconic Dreamland sign is gone – but curiously, the entrance itself is still standing.
On 18 October 2016, someone posted this update to Facebook:
On 23 October 2016, Seigel wrote: “Pretty much all of Main Street USA is gone. In the background you can hear machines smashing the merry-go-rounds to pieces. It turns out that the crew move much faster than I anticipated. If the crew keeps up that speed, there will be little to nothing left of Nara Dreamland by the end of 2016.”
On 10 November 2016, this photo was posted to Reddit:
It looks like Main Street was nearly demolished. Compare it to the photo from October 14th (nearly a month earlier):
In the photo on the right there are fewer buildings (so more demolition).
On the same day, someone posted this photo of a half-demolished Aska roller coaster to Imgur:
On 11 November 2016, Florian Seidel posted this photo of Aska to Abandoned Kansai’s Facebook page:
Here’s another from the Abandoned Kansai Facebook page, this time posted on November 24th, 2016:
On 6 December 2016, Chris Luckhardt wrote: Most of the park is gone now. Only the monorail, part of the mountain, and buildings in the water park remain.
He also posted this haunting photo:
On 17 December 2016, Florian Seidel wrote, “Demolition is progressing at a fast pace – by now every attraction is at least half gone…“. He also posted this photo of the site where Nara Dreamland’s castle once stood:
On 6 February 2017, news site Dezeen reported that demolition is completed. Specifically, they said that Nara Dreamland was “demolished at the end of 2016”.
In March 2017, a blogger called Ivan Kralj visited the park. Here’s his article about it. He wrote:
I experience only emptiness and rot. [There is only] some preserved stairs, broken brick walls, tires, hills of unidentified attraction parts, pools of water…
Here’s a couple of photos he took, showing that Nara Dreamland now looked more like an apocalyptic wasteland than a theme park.
According to his article, the only thing left standing is a train from one of the rides. Ivan also wrote:
This place was certainly not haunted anymore. Even the ghosts have left.
Even the ghosts have left. Jesus Christ. This really is the end for Nara Dreamland.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll update this page with new information from time to time.
I last updated this page on 8 November 2017.