If there is any theme park creepier than Westworld, it's this abandoned wild west park in Japan.
But in Nikko, a city about 70 miles north of the capital Tokyo, there is a multi-million dollar theme park called Western Village featuring animatronic replicas of Clint Eastwood and Mount Rushmore.
The eerie attraction has been abandoned since 2006 and now looks more like the set for the 1973 original sci-fi film, Westworld, where robotic androids took over a theme park.
A recent visitor and urban explorer, Florian (@abandonedkansai) says this about the park in his blog:
"Some of those buildings were “inhabited” by animatronic characters like a clerk, a bartender and a Pony Express employee, giving the now abandoned park a really spooky Westworld vibe, especially since most of those animatronics were built to match the likenesses of movie icons."
He also explains the history of the abandoned Japanese wild west attraction:
"Western Village emerged from a family owned guest ranch with a few horses and a fishing pond called Kinugawa Family Ranch, started in the early 1970s as an additional attraction for visitors of a nearby hot spring – there were metal cups labelled that way all over the premises, most likely around 40 years old and once sold in gift shops. Kenichi and Masayuki Ominami’s uniquely themed leisure park was divided into several zones, the last one added in 1995 for about 25 million USD, featuring a three-floor building with a 1/3 scale replica of Mount Rushmore; the latter earned Western Village a few awards, from the Mount Rushmore Society and Northwest Airlines, making the park’s then-president Kenichi Ominami a honorary governor of South Dakota"
So...does anyone want to go to Japan while we wait for the next season of Westworld on HBO?