Russian village theme park abandoned in northern Japan
If relations between Japan and its closest neighbor Russia have seemed frosty of late, nowhere is the lack of interest in Russia by the Japanese more clearly visualized than at Niigata Russian Village theme park.
Abandoned in April 2004, it has become a photographer's paradise for those seeking the eeriness of ruins and the effects time has on untended buildings.
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Boasting two areas -- one of shops, restaurants and animals pens, the other containing a replica church and Russian village -- the park opened in 1993.
It closed temporarily in 1999 when its supporting bank collapsed, but then limped on for five more years.
Chief amongst its attractions was a copy of the World Heritage listed Church of the Nativity in Suzdal, Russia.
Tokyo Times reports that the majority of the complex has been vandalized over the years with the church the most intact remaining part.
These days it seems nature is taking back what is hers as vines take over the former railway museum, statues and corridors.