10. Gulliver’s Kingdom
Gulliver’s Kingdom opened in Japan in 1997 as one of many construction projects backed by the Japanese government and banking center in the 90s. Themed after Jonathan Swift’s 18th century novel Gulliver’s Travels, the park’s centerpiece was an enormous 147-foot-long statue of the book’s protagonist tied to the ground by the miniature Lilliputian people. The park also featured a town square area, bobsled track, and luge course.
While the park’s proximity to Mt. Fuji made for a breathtaking landscape, the location proved to be problematic for two reasons. First, the park was located near Aokigahara, the forest infamous for being the second most popular suicide spot in the world after the Golden Gate Bridge. It was also situated near the former compound of Aum Shinrikyo, a cult that murdered 13 people in a 1995 nerve gas attack in Tokyo. Some residents from the area reported the lingering smell of chemicals from the cult’s activities.
Thanks to these factors and a general lack of interest, Gulliver’s Kingdom closed down just four years after opening. For several years its structures remained standing, along with the Gulliver statue, becoming a destination for urban explorers and resulting in some arresting images of the wreckage. Unfortunately, anyone hoping to see for themselves is out of luck: all the structures, including Gulliver, were demolished in 2007.