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This Abandoned Western Amusement Park In Japan Looks Just Like Westworld

This Abandoned Western Amusement Park In Japan Looks Just Like Westworld

It seems that it wasn't just HBO that thought a Wild West-style theme park populated with robots was a good idea.

Western Village opened in the 1970s, just a few hours away from Tokyo and was hugely popular until it was abandoned 10 years ago. Japan isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of Western films - but apparently the amusement park was also used as a film set.

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Now it could be used for a horror flick.

Lifeless plastic bodies lie around in saloon bars and banks - the animatronics give it a real Westworld feel.

The images are incredible, spooky, creepy ans surreal all in one.

Credit: Lee Chapman

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Credit: Lee Chapman

Credit: Lee Chapman

Credit: Lee Chapman

Credit: Lee Chapman

The pretend village is now a ghost town strewn with fake Western relics - and even unopened bottles of beer and spirit - full on abandoned saloon style. There are several buildings in the village, including a fake hotel, a barber, a bank, a blacksmith, and a sheriff's office. There was also a photobooth where you can dress up in spaghetti western clothes.

A translator with a love of abandoned amusement parks, Florian Siedel, wanted to visit the park before it was demolished. He wrote on his blog: "Animatronics and mannequins have been moved all over the park, so were clothes from the photographer's shop and several single items.

"Some people clearly had fun positioning large teddy bears (from an exhibition at the Mount Rushmore building) behind partly smashed doors and lurking creepily through windows."

A huge amount of money was poured into Western Village. There is a white wooden church that was shipped from California - who knows how much that would have cost - and a replica of Mount Rushmore was created on the hills. Not quite the same size as the real one, it still cost £19 million.

Credit: Lee Chapman

Credit: Lee Chapman

I wonder if this will happen at the end of Westworld - the amusement park is abandoned, like so many of them are, and rediscovered years later. Creepily littered with robots and haunted by memories.

There's also a theme park in Germany called Frontier Town - it's been going for 50 years and shows no sign of being abandoned. You can stay in a cabin on site - it's just outside Berlin, and watch cowboys shoot 'em up and go horseriding.

Words Laura Hamilton

Topics: Theme Park

 

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