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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome to Gulliver’s Kingdom, the unhappiest place on Earth


The Japanese theme park Gulliver's Kingdom was only open from 1997-2001 before a lack of visitors shuttered it. Until its decaying remains were demolished in 2007, the park and its 147-foot-long Lemuel Gulliver statue were prime destinations for urban explorers.
Gulliver's Kingdom was located 2.5 hours away from Tokyo and in the sights of Mt. Fuji. That sounds like prime real estate, but the Kingdom was in a curious neighborhood. Other nearby landmarks included the village of Kamikuishiki (the former location of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult's sarin gas manufacturing facilities) and the "Sea of Trees," a bucolic forest that is also Japan's most popular suicide destination.
Welcome to Gulliver's Kingdom, the unhappiest place on EarthOf course, Gulliver's Kingdom brought the disconcerting all on its own. After the park's finances dried up, a giant, dead-eyed model of Jonathan Swift's literary hero laid forever supine, exposed to the elements and Lilliputian graffiti artists. Gulliver and his ghostly playland may be gone, but you can see many photos of his dead duchy over at Web Urbanistand Sleepy City.
[Top photo by MutantMandias; middle photo by Yamanashi via Sleepy City.]