Photographer Explores Abandoned Japanese Theme Park

Ten years after being abandoned, Glück Kingdom – a once thriving German-inspired theme park attraction – has captured the awe of a Dutch-based photographer who recently visited the site.

Photographs captured by Dutch man Bob Thissen, 31, said the once revered tourist destination in Hokkaido, on Japan’s north island, now gives out an ‘apocalyptic’ feel.

Thissen’s observations shows the rides at the park have rusted, trees have reclaimed the tracks and in the midst of summer – much of the fanfare cannot be seen through the land’s engulfing forestry.

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Abandon to the core, the Gluck Kingdom in Hokkaido, Japan was been left to rot for the past ten years since it opened in 1989

Abandon to the core, the Gluck Kingdom in Hokkaido, Japan was been left to rot for the past ten years since it opened in 1989

Abandon to the core, the Gluck Kingdom in Hokkaido, Japan was been left to rot for the past ten years since it opened in 1989

 Dutch photographer Bob Thissen , 31 shows how the Ferris wheel looks like after being abandoned for the last 10 years 

 Dutch photographer Bob Thissen , 31 shows how the Ferris wheel looks like after being abandoned for the last 10 years 

 Dutch photographer Bob Thissen , 31 shows how the Ferris wheel looks like after being abandoned for the last 10 years 

The theme park was opened in 1989, to draw more visitors to the island.

But 10 years on, the park has had all rides and shut its doors for the last time.

Thissen’s has described the site as ‘from the end of the world’.

‘It really has the “life after people” or “apocalypse” feeling. 

‘You see what happens when no humans are around, nature reclaims all like an unstoppable force.

‘The park is totally overgrown, in summer you almost can’t see the attractions.

‘Thick trees are growing everywhere even through the roller coaster tracks.

‘Some attractions are totally enclosed by trees, which makes it hard to photograph.

The Gluck Kingdom has now been reclaimed by nature with trees have reclaimed its tracks and some of the rides as seen here

The Gluck Kingdom has now been reclaimed by nature with trees have reclaimed its tracks and some of the rides as seen here

The Gluck Kingdom has now been reclaimed by nature with trees have reclaimed its tracks and some of the rides as seen here

The abandond theme park has been left alone for so long that its rides have all turned rusted with trees claiming its tracks

The abandond theme park has been left alone for so long that its rides have all turned rusted with trees claiming its tracks

The abandond theme park has been left alone for so long that its rides have all turned rusted with trees claiming its tracks

One Facebook user said Gluck Kingdom has failed in its attempt to attract visitors to the Obihiro area in Hokkaido in Japan 

One Facebook user said Gluck Kingdom has failed in its attempt to attract visitors to the Obihiro area in Hokkaido in Japan 

One Facebook user said Gluck Kingdom has failed in its attempt to attract visitors to the Obihiro area in Hokkaido in Japan 

‘For me it’s way nicer to see a totally decayed, overgrown amusement park rather than a recently closed one.

‘They have attractions like the Sea Dragon, Reindeer Coaster, Merry-go-round, Balloon flight, Ferris Wheel, Pirate Ship, Train, Games Hall, and more. ‘

The theme park was built to allow Japanese visitors to see other parts of the world without leaving their own country.

A social media user also conceded with Thissen observations on the theme park.

‘The Gluck Kingdom is a theme park in Hokkaido representing a German medieval castle,’ the user said.

‘It was supposed to be a way to attract people to the Obihiro area in Hokkaido but unfortunately it totally failed in this task. 

A social media user who has conceded with Mr Thissen's observations on the Gluck Kingdom theme park in a 2014 FB post

A social media user who has conceded with Mr Thissen's observations on the Gluck Kingdom theme park in a 2014 FB post

A social media user who has conceded with Mr Thissen’s observations on the Gluck Kingdom theme park in a 2014 FB post

The once revered Gluck Kingdom looks deserted and empty with no one visiting the site since it closed down 10 years ago 

The once revered Gluck Kingdom looks deserted and empty with no one visiting the site since it closed down 10 years ago 

The once revered Gluck Kingdom looks deserted and empty with no one visiting the site since it closed down 10 years ago 

Gluck Kingdom park was built to allow Japanese visitors to see other parts of the world without leaving their own country 

Gluck Kingdom park was built to allow Japanese visitors to see other parts of the world without leaving their own country 

Gluck Kingdom park was built to allow Japanese visitors to see other parts of the world without leaving their own country 

Thissen, who has been an urban explorer for more than 10 years, said it was beautiful to see Gluck Kingdom was left to be reclaimed by nature instead of being unspoiled by vandalism.

‘There isn’t a single tag or sign of vandalism in the park while the rides are falling apart.

‘Amusement parks in Europe or the US get vandalised pretty fast which ruins the atmosphere.’ 

In its hey days the theme park was home to rides such as the Sea Dragon, Reindeer Coaster, Merry-go-round and Ferris Wheel

In its hey days the theme park was home to rides such as the Sea Dragon, Reindeer Coaster, Merry-go-round and Ferris Wheel

In its hey days the theme park was home to rides such as the Sea Dragon, Reindeer Coaster, Merry-go-round and Ferris Wheel

Thissen said while this location’s beauty was emphasised by its overgrown nature, he believes this site doesn’t compare to others.

‘The attractions were nice, but sadly a bit too scattered around,’ he said.

‘You don’t have the feeling walking in a big amusement park like the abandoned Nara Dreamland in Japan.’

Gluck Kingdom had once showed so much promised when it first opened its doors to the public in 1989 says Mr Thissen

Gluck Kingdom had once showed so much promised when it first opened its doors to the public in 1989 says Mr Thissen

Gluck Kingdom had once showed so much promised when it first opened its doors to the public in 1989 says Mr Thissen

 


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