Gulliver’s Kingdom was a failed theme park located near Kawaguchi-machi, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan. There’s something about a failed amusement park that is even sadder than one that has merely just been abandoned. Gulliver’s Kingdom opened in 1997 and was typical of some of the outlandish construction projects the backed in the 1990s. Although it is located in a tourist area it is also next to Aokigahara, Japan’s “suicide forest”, a suicide location second only to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Creepier still it also borders on the location of the AumShinrikyo doomsday cult’s headquarters and nerve gas production facility. The cult released the nerve gas sarin on the Tokyo subway system in 1995, killing 12 and injuring 3,800. In the end Gulliver’s Kingdom just wasn’t big enough to be “big in Japan”.
Nothing remains of Gulliver’s Kingdom today but a rough concrete scar, and even this basic foundation is gradually being subsumed by dirt, dust and windblown sand. Was it all a dream? Perhaps it was… and if any lessons can be learned by Gulliver’s Kingdom’s rise, fall and disappearance it’s that if one must dream, at least dream big.