Leftover arcades wasting away at the Nara Dreamland

arcadehero September 23, 2011 8

Newsfeed 1115 via The Stinger Report and GameSetWatch

When an amusement park or other large FEC goes out of business,they often leave some stuff behind. Perhaps there wasn’t enough interest from buyers at the time or the people in charge of selling off old items just didn’t care to deal with the hassle. I’ve come across a few places like that, not too far from where I live is a site of a place that used to be called the 49th Street Galleria (which was the first arcade I ever visited as a kid in the late 80s and where I came across a Discs of Tron) and was later turned into the Utah Fun Dome. After they closed down they left quite a few arcade items laying around, including a couple of Sega R360 machines. But they were left outside and were in terrible condition. I’m not sure if the guy who got a hold of them years later managed to do anything with them or not.

Anyways, over in Japan there is a site of an amusement park that closed down in 2006 called the Nara Dreamland. Apparently they originally copied Disneyland as closely as possible (not unlike what’s going on in some Chinese parks today), understandably peeving off Disney. It originally opened in 1961 and managed to stay open for a few decades but eventually disinterest and a sagging Japanese economy caught up with them. A Russian blog by Ralph Mirebs has a bunch of recent photos of the park and it’s current state which included an arcade with a number of abandoned machines. Those include: Daytona USA 2, Victory Lap, Final Furlong, Jurassic Park, DDR 3rd Mix, Top Skater, Airline Pilots and Golgo 13 Part 3. How much longer they will remain depends upon the future of the land where the park is, I imagine that one day they’ll tear the place down to make room for something else. Hopefully the arcades are salvaged in the process, it wouldn’t be surprising if a few of them still worked.



  1. DarkTetsuya September 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Wish I could give that DDR 3rd MIX a happy home 🙁 Stories like these always break my heart (almost as badly as those ‘junkyard full of broken/dead games’ pictures…

  2. hexcrass September 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Oh that poor DDR! I’d make that place my bike gangs hideout if I lived around there.

  3. Eric Weigand September 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Just isn’t that much interest left out there in ‘saving’ games or parts.

    A friend of mine and I are both emptying out warehouses right now and a ridiculous amount of stuff is going to be thrown away. Much of it would be sold for cheap and some of it actually given away, but WAY TOO MUCH of it will end up in a landfill. I think the problem is that most of the people that would be interested in saving things can’t afford to ship them.

    Last night we sold some games and GAVE away dozens of monitors. There are enough left to fill a couple more trucks, but instead they will be filling dumpsters next week.

    Games cost money to store too. Eventually some of us have to get rid of things cheaply or throw them out instead of paying rent to sit on them. Not sure how any space can sit vacant in Japan with the space shortage there…

    I hate throwing things out or selling them for less than they should be worth, but sometimes that is just what happens when someone is trying to run or business (or used to.)

    The sad truth is that MANY more people lament the loss of games and related than EVER step forward to buy or otherwise save the pieces from disposal or other waste.

    • arcadehero September 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Depends. I would be interested in saving the Final Furlong or Golgo 13 there. 🙂

      • Arcades4ever September 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm - Reply

        I would love to have an arcade machine in my house and have always wanted one but sadly my parents won’t allow me to have one :/

  4. Alex September 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I will gladly take that Daytona USA 2 cab off of their hands.

  5. editor September 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    In 1990 I remember visiting a number of Brighton arcades that were ‘skipping’ old PCB’s – this was common place up to 1999.

    Older readers of this site will remember the image I took of a SEGA Rally machine next to a skip.

    The retrow crowd are not welcome in the hard nose amusement trade. Especially now that depreciation of certain systems is marked up.

    When you write off stock – its got to go!

  6. Arcades4ever September 27, 2011 at 12:22 am - Reply

    BTW I’ve just noticed that jurrasic park game and I actually found this game in dalaman airport in turkey when I was about to go home yesterday. Sadly didn’t get to try the game out as I had no time, oh well I can always try the game out in mame

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