Remembering Nara Dreamland

Facebook does this thing where they creepily show you memories from X years ago today... some should just outright disappear forever (like pics of rebel teen days), but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of my first year in Japan and those initial adventures around Kansai.

Oh, how I wish I could relive some of those moments again.

One of them facebook moments pop up from 5 years ago - of Nara Dreamland.

For those of you who don't know Nara Dreamland, the tl;dr version is that it used to be a theme park - about 10-15 minutes walk from Nara Park - that no longer exists.

In other words, it's an abandoned site / ruins - or 廃墟 (haikyo).

Nara Dreamland is one haikyo that's highly documented among enthusiasts of the haikyo community. I first read about them on one of the few haikyo website that existed before exploration of ruins became somewhat more... mainstream. I used to spend so many hours just... scrolling through photos of abandon places in Japan. Then other sites like Abandoned Kansai, and subsequently other youtube videos in the community covered them more extensively.

It had always been somewhat of a goal of mine to go explore it.

So... I kind of did.

"Sort of"... because if you can tell from these photos... I ultimately chickened out.

It was getting dark, and I saw a car at the front gates. Fearing there might be some security personnel around, I just took some pictures at the gate and left.

The land surrounding Nara Dreamland now has apparently been redeveloped, so what you see in those pictures no longer exists. Which is too bad.

But this was a good memory to remember!

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