Haunting images show decay of abandoned theme park in Japan reportedly plagued by ancient curse
These haunting images capture the eerie remains of an abandoned theme park reportedly plagued by an ancient curse.
In its heyday, Kejonuma Leisure Land, in Tohoku, Japan, attracted hundreds of thousands of children each year, boasting an amusement park, a campsite and a driving range.
But after closing in 2000 after a decline in visitors, the desolate theme park now lies in decay with its rusting Ferris wheel and deserted merry-go-round tourist attractions in their own right.
Urban explorer Florian Seidel, 38, visited the creepy location, which is reported to be jinxed by an ancient curse, in 2014 to document the extent of the site’s ongoing dereliction.
Opened in 1979, the theme park attracted more than 200,000 visitors a year from across the country, but was forced to close after a decline in visitors due to Japan’s low birth rate and economic collapse.
Photographer Florian, who lives in Kansai, said: “Exploring Kejonuma Leisure Land was an amazing experience, it turned out to be one of the most underrated abandoned places I have ever visited.
“Most explorers focus on the Ferris wheel, but there is so much more to see. Everything there had the right amount of natural decay with no signs of vandalism.
“It looked like time just forgot about it, despite the fact that it is located right next to a public road.
“Other locations, especially abandoned amusement parks, have been photographed to death, but at Kejonuma Leisure Land, I had the feeling that I was still exploring the place, constantly finding new things to take pictures of.”
According to The Japan Times, the theme park was built next to the site of the ‘pond of the ghost woman’, an ancient myth which is claimed could have been factor in its untimely closure.
The subject of the folklore is said to be a beautiful damsel, who supposedly lived near a pond in the area well-known for its abundance of snakes.
One day the woman gave birth to a baby in the form of a snake, which slithered away into the pond, where its cries could be heard every night.
But driven mad by her serpent baby’s incessant moans, the young mum committed suicide by jumping in the pond, cursing the site upon her death.
Florian said: “A lot of Japanese people, especially women, are quite superstitious, so if that urban legend would have had any impact, I don’t think the park would have been in business for 21 years; it would have been bankrupt within months.
“Although it’s an intriguing tale and only adds to the eerie mystique of this fascinating site.”
To see more of Florian’s urban explorations, visit: http://abandonedkansai.com/