Monday, November 20, 2017

The abandoned 'Western Village' theme park in Japan

Western Village or Western Mura (ウェスタン村) was an American west themed amusement park which opened in the early 1970's at Nikko, in Japan's Tochigi prefecture, a couple of hours away from Tokyo. 

Its first name was Kinugawa Family Ranch and it was run as a family business. At first it was basically an American west style ranch with a few horses and a fishing pond. Over the years though, it kept expanding to include more buildings such as a sheriffs office, a barber shop, a bank, a hotel and many other buildings. 

In the late 1970's it was named 'Western Village' and it kept expanding. It now had ghost houses, amusement arcades, a restaurant and even a replica of Rushmore mountain was added during the 1990's. Staff would dress up as cowboys and put on shows for visitors.

Western World finally closed in 2006. For the next several years the park remained abandoned attracting mainly lovers of haikyo - the Japanese word for abandoned places.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Inside an abandoned 'Disneyland' in the Philippines

It was supposed to bring some of the 'Disneyland' magic in the Philippines but it's construction was never completed and today it sits abandoned. Fantasy World is a theme park located in Lemery, in the province of Batangas, Philippines. 

Owned by a Japanese businessman, construction started in 2001. His plans were very ambitious. A large theme park, the largest in the Philippines, modeled after Disneyland with a medieval castle and a large central fountain. 

Construction was never finished due to financial reasons and the park never officially opened. However, the homeowners association maintains and cleans the abandoned park and visitors can enter inside and look around for a fee. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Inside Amsterdam's abandoned 'humane' prison

The Bijlmerbajes prison complex in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was built as a 'humane prison' and opened in 1978. Situated close to the Amsterdam Amstel railway station, it consists of six high-rise buildings, each operating as a separate prison. The buildings are joined by a 260-meter (850-foot) long tunnel called the ''Kalverstraat'.

Besides the six towers there are also six external areas (one for each tower), three gymnasiums or sport-centres, a small religious building functioning as church and mosque. A central front building houses some central functions such as the kitchen, visitor reception rooms, the entry processing department and the offices.

Being a 'humane prison' the windows didn't have bars at first. However, it turns out the glass wasn't unbreakable, so bars were retroactively fitted. On each tower, measuring 14 stories high, each two floors operate as a different department, connected via open stairs. Two large lifts were used by the prisoners only and a special small lift was available for staff. Each prison department would accommodate different types of prisoners: repeated offenders, drug addicts, prisoners with psychological problems, prisoners for light crimes etc. 

The Bijlmerbajes prison shut down in June 2016. It was one of the several prisons that have closed in the Netherlands during the last years due to the country's low crime rate and short prison sentences. The prison however remained empty only for a short time. As of 2017 it is being used to house refugees seeking asylum while it also operates as a cultural hub for locals. Meanwhile, there are already plans to transform the former prison to a new neighborhood powered by renewable energy and built largely from recycled materials.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned prisons around the world // More abandoned places in the Netherlands // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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