Nara Dreamland DEMOLITION from Oct 2016 to Dec 2017

In this post I’ll provide news about the demolition of Nara Dreamland. Yes, that’s right – Nara Dreamland is being demolished.

What happened?

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.

demolition-of-nara-main-street-4

I’ll provide a month-by-month analysis of the events so far.

May 2016

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.

September 2016

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.

October 2016

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.

demolition-of-nara-main-street-5

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.

rubble-main-street

main-street-aska-rubble

The iconic Dreamland sign is gone – but curiously, the entrance itself is still standing.

sign-missing

On 18 October 2016, someone posted this update to Facebook:

facebook-post

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.

November 2016

On 10 November 2016, this photo was posted to Reddit:

2016-11-10-nara-dreamland-main-street-demolition

It looks like Main Street was nearly demolished. Compare it to the photo from October 14th (nearly a month earlier):

comparison-of-two-photos

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:

2016-11-10-aska-partially-demolished-smaller

On 11 November 2016, Florian Seidel posted this photo of Aska to Abandoned Kansai’s Facebook page:

2016-11-20-aska

Here’s another from the Abandoned Kansai Facebook page, this time posted on November 24th, 2016:
2016-11-26-aska

December 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:

2016-12-17-castle

February 2017

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”.

March 2017

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.

Conclusion

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.

19 thoughts on “Nara Dreamland DEMOLITION from Oct 2016 to Dec 2017

  • November 12, 2017 at 7:54 am
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    A little piece of me has died along with Dreamland. I hate that they tore it down!

    Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm
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    Something very special just came to an end.

    In DreamLand you could feel the love and the dream Kunizo Matsuo had when he created this park for us. A lot of unique art existed here, despite it being initially inspired by Disney, a lot of unique love and heart was here. I suppose just not enough people could feel it or see what beauty and magic we could see in it.

    But nothing gold can stay. No dream can last forever.
    Thank you Kunizo Matsuo for sharing your dream with us.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm
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    It is more depressing if Nara Dreamland ruins still standing, need a more positive look.. they really need to demolish it to be use by next generation

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  • August 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm
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    I feel so sad knowing this. I was there on August 13, 2016, not knowing that they were going to demolish this place any time soon.
    I met a french couple there that scared the shit out of me and at the end an old man that was probably homless. We tried to speak with each other but he only knew japanese and we ended up having some laughs.
    I travelled to Japan alone and only knew about the city of Nara because of this theme park. After looking Nara up on Google Maps, I saw that it was close to Kyoto and Osaka. Nara Dreamland was on top of my to do list once I arrived in Japan.
    I really wanted but was also very scared about climbing that old wooden roller coaster. I also knew that I would not get a good shot of me on top of it so I decided not to climb it. If I wasn’t there alone, then I might have climbed it.. now I deeply regret not doing it.
    If there is any kind of archive website where I can share my shots about the last moments of this abandoned Nara Dreamland , then please forward this information it to me.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
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    Came back after having gone there a couple weeks ago. It’s essentially nothing but giant rubble piles that are being removed daily, a good 99% is gone. RIP DreamLand…

    Reply
  • July 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm
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    Noooooo…. this is so depressing! I visited the park in March 2016 and was completely unaware that demolition was actually going to happen so soon. I am so happy that I was able to explore the park as an urban explorer and take such memorable pictures. It’s such a shame 🙁 FYI, another amusement park that has YET to be demolished is a Chinese themed one up near Noboribetsu, Hokkaido. Not as good as Nara Dreamland but still amazing. Hope you don’t mind but I linked your blog on my own about urban exploration in Hokkaido 🙂

    Tam @ http://freshcoffeestains.com/hokkaido/

    Reply
  • July 6, 2017 at 11:28 pm
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    I wish I could have visited this place. Me and my friend where planning to go here… until I found out if we getting demolished… 🙁

    Reply
  • May 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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    I am going to Japan in October from California usa. I was coming to nara for dreamland and the todaiji temple. Mostly for nara dreamland! Should I still plan a trip to nara?

    Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • May 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm
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      I believe Nara Dreamland is mostly rubble now. But you could still go to Nara to enjoy wild deer in Nara Park. I also recommend eating in a cheap tuna restaurant called Maguro Koya. I ate some of the best fish of my Japan trip there.

      Reply
  • March 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm
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    Not fair now I have no reason to go to japan WHYYYY who care some people have memories here It would make em cry to see it go!! STOP!! leave it as it is I swear if they destroy that castle I will destroy them

    Reply
  • March 25, 2017 at 8:13 pm
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    I’m crying right now!!

    Reply
  • March 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm
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    Nara Dreamland was one of the first spots that I found out about that got me interested in abandoned places. It’s sad to see it go. I may have never gotten to see it in real life but I’m glad I found out about the park before it started getting demolished.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm
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    Oh this is so sad…

    Demolishing parks is probably one of the worst type of demolitions that can take place. Especially this park had something so very special to it.

    It’s mentioned in the article that demolitions are expected to be completed in December of 2016. Does anyone have any idea if indeed they met the deadline? Has the housing company started building those homes?

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 6:16 pm
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      Demolition is expected to be finished in December 2017, not 2016.

      Reply
  • December 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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    Too bad.. i was planning to go there someday when i got older but sad to say .. i think i cannot do that anymore.. it’s so sad to see in the photos especially the aska ( azka? Dunno but the roller coaster ) falling apart.. i wanted to see the pools get demolished and the slides tho .. even it breaks my heart this park was the best abandoned that i knew it really gets my curiosity

    Reply
  • December 16, 2016 at 11:10 am
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    Such a shame to see it go, I’ve been fascinated by it for a long time and have wanted to visit for a photography project. I find it sad that they are just completely tearing it down rather than keeping some of the old relics or auctioning off parts to people who are interested. I just hope that they could possibly restore the corkscrew roller coaster rather than destroying it like the wooden one.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2016 at 10:22 pm
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    This saddens my heart to see such a beautiful place be torn down to rubble. I had dreams of going there when I had the money, but I guess that wont be happening any time soon. Aska was my favroite and seeing that it had been brought down is really depressing. Those old folks better be thankful! It’s going to be an awfully dull sight without that park. Rest in peace Nara Dreamland.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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    Actually quite sickening to see this place be destroyed without removing any of it for museums. Shame on them.

    There were quite a few rare video games I saw in one explorer’s video. If they still work, I’m sure there’s a collector out there somewhere.

    The owners should’ve had an auction and gotten money from items and such from the park. I’m sure there would have been fans who would’ve flocked there for the memories and such! Never underestimate the sentimentality of people!

    Reply
  • October 26, 2016 at 2:01 am
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    They shouldn’t be allowed to demolish this gem. I understand their reasons. Just breaks my heart seeing this park go.

    Reply

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