Many are familiar with the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, ship's surgeon made famous by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels. In one of his four adventures, Gulliver ends up on the island of Lilliput which is inhabited by miniature people. In the shadow of Mt. Fuji in Japan lies a now-abandoned theme park named Gulliver's Kingdom Theme Park complete with a life-sized effigy of Gulliver that mimics a scene from the book where the Lilliputians have him tied down.
Gulliver's Kingdom Theme Park was built near Kawaguchi-machi, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan and was considered as one of the bridge to nowhere projects that were all the rage in Japan during the 1990s.
According to weburbanist, the theme park was a sprawling white elephant that existed for only 10 years. Today there’s little if any trace of the abandoned theme park, its ruins, or Gulliver himself but the eerie and unsettling images captured by a legion of intrepid “haikyo” explorers.
The park never attained popularity and was in operation for ten years before permanently closing its doors. Today it is a popular destination for haikyo explorers also known as urban explorers or urbex-ers. Urban exploration is the exploration of manmade structures, usually abandoned ruins or hidden components of the manmade environment. Photography and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby and it sometimes involves trespassing onto private property.
Perhaps one of the reasons for its lack of appeal was its location. It was built in the Aokigahara area also known as Japan's "suicide forest" and one of its neighbors is Kamikuishiki village which was in the news for being the headquarters of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult.