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The Abandoned Western Village

The Abandoned Western Village

The Western Village (ウエスタン村) is a relatively quite famous abandoned theme park in Japan. I had the chance to visit it many times, but I would like to share with you the photos taken during my very last visit.

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Western Village

My friend Satomi has three daughters: Kaoru, Marin and Naomi. They were very keen to cosplay in a haikyo so I took them there, and indeed, we had lot of fun. Here are the result in photos, you can make up your own story. Meanwhile, I will tell you a bit more about the Western Village.

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Western Village

Once known as the Kinugawa Ranch, this village was built around 1973.

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Western Village

At the time it was a very simple place where visitors could enjoy cowboy-style activities.

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Western Village

The owner, a local man called Ominami-san, said that the purpose in life is not to earn money but to make dreams come true and that is basically what he did.

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Western Village

The ranch became a proper theme park in 1975 and was renamed Western Village.

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Western Village

This haikyo, near Nikko in Tochigi prefecture, is easily accessible on a one-day trip from Tokyo, so I had plenty of chances to visit.

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Western Village

The entrance is practically unprotected and has many openings that make access easy for anyone. The owner perhaps stopped caring about trying to keep the new breed of tourists out.

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Western Village

A stream divides Western Village into two – the actual village, extremely Far West ambiance with barber, bank, prison, saloons… everything is here, just like a movie set (which is where we are, in this article) – and the “Mexican” side.

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Western Village

Ominami-san extended his theme park each year, to the detriment of his profit margin.

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Western Village

In 1995, he even added a replica of the famous Mount Rushmore, seemingly on an impulse.

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Western Village

The park closed in 2007 and is now virtually forgotten.

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Western Village

But from time to time, tourists driving around the Nikko area are taken aback by this Japanese version of Mount Rushmore that looms up for a second…

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Western Village

…and they have to come back to check it isn’t a hallucination!

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Western Village

The Western Village is now being demolished, little by little.

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Western Village

And it is sad, as it was a fabulous haikyo, especially for those girls who really enjoy it 🙂

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Western Village

They also visited an abandoned school, so if you are interested in seeing that, please kick me in the comments to post about it 🙂

Abandoned Japan Book

You will find more amazing abandoned places in my book Abandoned Japan. It is available on Amazon, here: Abandoned Japan.

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Abandoned Japan Book

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Abandoned Japan Book

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Who Am I

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I am Jordy Meow, I am a French photographer living in Japan. My interest is to discover and share information about offbeat and lesser known locations for foreigners coming or living in Japan. I published books and now preparing new beautiful series of guidebooks.

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