german style buildings in abandoned japanese theme park through broken window
Hokkaido,  Japan

Abandoned German Theme Park In Hokkaido: The Gluck Kingdom

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Last Updated On 6th February 2024 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Haikyo 廃墟 Hokkaido : The Gluck Kingdom (Glucks-Konigreich グリュック王国)

The Gluck Kingdom is an abandoned German-style theme park near Obihiro Airport in Hokkaido, Japan. Originally called Glücks Königreich, The Gluck Kingdom theme park opened in 1989 and closed in 1997. The German-style theme park was built to draw tourism to the small town of Obihiro but it failed and was abandoned. In this post, I share my experience and photos from exploring The Gluck Kingdom in 2015.

History Of The Glücks Königreich / The Gluck Kingdom

The theme of the Glücks Königreich amusement park was the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. For this theme, there are medieval German-style buildings, statues and fountains of famous German figures and a “Grimm’s Royal Castle” hotel.

Zenrin Leisure Land Co. owns the theme park. The President of the company at the time visited Germany and liked what he saw, so that is why he decided to come up with the concept and open The Gluck Kingdom.

The meaning of Glücks Königreich is the Kingdom of Luck / Fortune. The site is near Obihiro Airport with the hope that it would help to revitalise the town through tourism.

Visitors & Attractions At The Gluck Kingdom

Visitors to The Gluck Kingdom could see a recreation of the Brothers Grimm village with half-timbered houses and a forest environment. There is a replica of the Hanau City Hall with a bronze statue of the Brothers Grimm in front, just like in Hanau, Germany (link to Britannica). There are fountains with statues of German musicians and writers. A huge statue of the Bremen Roland stands guard nearby the entrance. There is a central Marktplatz surrounded by buildings of medieval German-style architecture. One of the main buildings is a recreation of the Bückeburg Palace (link to their official website).

Towards the back of the theme park, there are many amusement park rides including a large playground, a Wave Swinger and a Ferris Wheel.

In the early 1990s, The Gluck Kingdom theme park admitted around 700,000 people per year. But the number of visitors gradually decreased and by 1997 the admittance was about 300,000.

Closure Of The Gluck Kingdom

Between 1998 and 2007, the site of the theme park was reconstructed into various different attractions, including a swimming pool complex and a manga art gallery and museum. The hotel became an ageing medical care facility and the playground equipment was rented out.

The plan was to resume the German theme park in 2004 with the help of new financial sponsors. However, they could not secure the funding and in 2007 the Glücks Königreich was officially closed and abandoned.

The land and buildings have been left as they were and nothing has been done about any of it. Even today, the abandoned theme park exists for those who may dare to explore it.

abandoned castle at japanese theme park in hokkaido
Abandoned castle at the Japanese theme park – © Wild Lovely World
abandoned 'brothers grimm' village in an overgrown forest with speakers on a pole in hokkaido abandoned japanese theme park in japan
Speaker system and German style ‘Brothers Grimm’ village buildings in the overgrown forest – © Wild Lovely World

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My Experience Visiting The Abandoned Glücks Königreich / Gluck Kingdom

This post was originally published on an old blog of mine on May 14th 2015. It has been updated and republished here on June 5th 2023.

Whilst travelling back to Obihiro from staying in Hiroo for the night, my friend Rina mentioned this abandoned German theme park she knew about near Obihiro airport. I was immediately intrigued. She said she used to go there sometimes as a kid (in the early 1990s) but heard from another friend that it closed down about 10 or so years ago, and the ruins are still there.

Rina told me the style of the park was like a medieval German castle, with a cute souvenir shop village, a hotel and a small theme park. Overall, she said it was well-built but the whole place had a creepy vibe. This was because, besides the staff, there was no one there. Hardly any customers visited at all.

Finding The Gluck Kingdom Near Obihiro Airport

Rina said her parents used to take her there in the summer and they ate sausages. How very Deutsche. I decided to do some research online on my phone and it didn’t take much but a simple Google search of “abandoned German theme park Obihiro” to find the Glucks-Konigreich (Gluck Kingdom グリュック王国) on this convenient website (Haikyo.org). The pictures of the place looked amazing. I wanted to go there and explore it myself. So that’s what we did.

It was a little difficult to find the exact location of the place when searching in English, but Rina found the location (link to Google Maps) easily in Japanese. As she had been there as a child I’m sure she was familiar with it. The place is literally right next to the Obihiro airport. Approaching it, there are many signs still on the main roads advertising the Glucks-Konigreich, and the main castle building is highly visible from quite a distance away. You can also see a large ferris wheel hidden within the trees.

Preparing To Enter The Gluck Kingdom

Warning Signs & Bears

My heart was racing and I was getting super excited about this haikyo. The atmosphere between my friends was good – we were nervous and we didn’t know what to expect. Firstly, we were nervous because the haikyo.org post mentioned bears being seen in and around the park. Secondly, we were nervous because of the huge blockades and warning signs at the entrance prohibiting you to enter and threatening arrest. The signs were all in kanji of course… I guessed we could always play the dumb gaijin card. So the warning signs nor the bears stopped us. My friends are a good bunch.

warning signs in japanese at the entrance to the abandoned german style theme park near obihiro in hokkaido japan - the gluck kingdom
Warning signs in Japanese at the entrance to the abandoned German style theme park near obihiro in Hokkaido, Japan – © Wild Lovely World

Heading To The Entrance

The main entrance to the park is just off the main road so it’s impossible to sneak in there without being seen. So we drove a little further down to the back of the park and decided to park the car on a small laneway with good coverage by some trees. There’s a farm right by the road to the back entrance of the park but we weren’t going to be put off by that.

We only took our cameras (phones) with us and all ID cards and other things were left in the car, so if we were seen by the police there would be nothing to do but run. I wanted to take my bear bell (which I had as we were hiking the day before) but it would have been too much noise and drawn attention to us by the wrong crowd if they happened to be listening. So we risked it and went without.

Walking to the park you can easily see planes flying overhead and the air traffic control tower in the airport. Probably whoever was in that plane taking off at the time could spot us sneaking in, but they would have had a great overhead view of the park and I bet they were just jealous we got to do some urban exploring.

large yellow building with columns, clock and bell tower at the gluck kingdom - abandoned german theme park in hokkaido japan - recreation of the Bückeburg Palace
Abandoned building with columns, clock and bell tower. Recreation of the Bückeburg Palace – © Wild Lovely World
overgrown doorway with many plants and a person looking at it
Overgrown and abandoned – © Wild Lovely World

Entering The Gluck Kingdom

To get into the park we crossed a small bridge and dodged the barbed wire lined between the trees. One section of it was absent so from there we could make a smooth entrance and exit. Most of the plants on the ground had been flattened so I imagine many haikyoists had been there before us. Initially, I was scared of any potential bears that may have been lurking in the woods, but after a while, I just lost all my inhibition and was curious to go deeper into the park.

The whole complex is completely overgrown with trailing vines and plants, tall grasses and trees growing from beneath the concrete carpet. There were many nettles and thorn bushes between them too so we had to take care where we stepped. Broken glass was everywhere and I got a large piece of it stuck in my Nikes.

german style architecture buildings overgrown with trees and plants at the gluck kingdom abandoned theme park obihiro hokkaido japan
Abandoned German style architecture buildings at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World
green wooden arched doorway on a brick building with painted facade and a broken window lying in the grass - the gluck kingdom abandoned theme park hokkaido japan
Building facade at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World

…what surprised me the most was that the whole place had just been completely abandoned, as was, all items left in there.

building with statues and decoration at the gluck kingdom hokkaido japan
Building with statues and painted decoration – © Wild Lovely World
arched blue doorway sealed and closed off with wood and overgrown with plants at the gluck kingdom - abandoned german theme park in hokkaido japan
Arched doorway closed off and sealed with wood at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World

Architecture Of The Gluck Kingdom

All the doors to enter the main castle-style building are blocked with large pieces of wood. One of the doors seemed like it could be opened but after persistent tugging, we figured it was boarded up from the inside.

The architecture of the place was amazing. Looking through the windows we could see the whole interior was left just as it must have been when the place was running. It was eerie. Some of the windows were smashed and some even open, with the white lace curtains hanging out. We know people must have entered but unfortunately, we couldn’t get in ourselves from the back, and we didn’t think to go round to the front. We just kept going further into the park.

Guarded By A German Knight

We crossed through an archway into what looked like a small courtyard area with little houses. On the way we passed a great big statue of a knight, that gave me a fright! He looked so magnificent and lonely standing there in the woods.

It turns out that this 8-metre statue that is greeting visitors to The Gluck Kingdom is a recreation of the Bremen Roland (link to Wikipedia) statue located in Bremen, Germany.

statue of a german knight holding a sword with trees in the background at the gluck kingdom obihiro japan
German knight statue at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World
german theme knight statue at the gluck kingdom abandoned theme park near obihiro airport hokkaido japan
Abandoned German knight statue in the woods – © Wild Lovely World

The Gluck Kingdom Gift Shop

There were random German words painted on the walls. The rooms under the archway looked strange. I tried to open one of the doors and to my surprise, it was completely unlocked. My friends gasped. I peeked my head in.

The first thing I noticed was a porcelain doll that had been smashed on the floor, its head broken off and its face missing. Creepy. But when I looked up, I noticed that the whole place was full of objects. Heaps of omiyage (souvenirs) lined the tables and shelves. Candles, dolls, cups, glass, jewellery, key chains, bottle openers, teddy bears, t-shirts, gift bags – all that kind of stuff was just left in there for the taking.

So we looted. We each grabbed ourselves a little goodie bag of stuff – tales of the theme park’s past. The jackpot was the t-shirts – there were several huge boxes of them, all the same, L size, with a totally surreal monochrome design of a bird and insects, and “Glucks-Konigreich” printed on the front.

windmill, maid, and gnome figurines on a shelf in the gluck kingdom gift shop - abandoned german style theme park in hokkaido japan
Windmill, gnome and maid souvenirs in the Gluck Kingdom gift shop – © Wild Lovely World
glucks-konigreich gluck kingdom t-shirt with a weird bird on it in black and white print - abandoned german theme park in hokkaido japan
A Glucks-Konigreich T-Shirt – © Wild Lovely World
keyrings and souvenir gift bag lying on the floor of the gluck kingdom giftshop
Keyrings and souvenir gift bag lying on the floor of the Gluck Kingdom giftshop – © Wild Lovely World

Souvenirs Of Visiting The Gluck Kingdom

I saw a poster in the gift shop for a John Lennon-themed art gallery and cafe, dated 2002. I was stunned. What was a John Lennon art gallery doing in a German-style theme park on Hokkaido island in Japan? Totally random. I collect posters, so I took it. I kind of felt bad about that, but there was another one next to it. And most of the other stuff had been looted from the place anyway.

I also collect postcards, and we found one in the back office/storage room written to whoever must have worked in the place at the time from Germany. The greeting was “Guten tag!”, but the rest of the message was in Japanese. The date stamp was from the 1980s. It was amazing to look into the past. I still have to translate it, but I’m sure it’ll be a gem.

post on the wall with john lennons face advertising the john lennon art gallery at the gluck kingdom
Poster for the John Lennon Art Gallery – © Wild Lovely World

Completely Abandoned Theme Park

What became obvious at this point and what surprised me the most was that the whole place had just been completely abandoned, as was, all items left in there. The staff hadn’t even bothered to clear the place out. It’s unbelievable that kind of thing happens in Japan, and it’s so common too – not only in theme parks, but also hospitals, houses, onsens, shops, museums… all those kinds of haikyo too.

the outside building of the john lennon art gallery at the gluck kingdom abandoned german theme park in hokkaido japan near obihiro airport
Outside of the John Lennon Art Gallery building – © Wild Lovely World
john lennon art cafe written in big red letters on the wall and a blue/white duotone photograph of john lennon underneath
At the John Lennon Art Cafe at the Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World

John Lennon Art Gallery & Cafe

Further into the park, the courtyard area at the back hosts a large statue of two guys (whoever they are), colourful and beautiful architectural houses in a traditional German style, and the infamous John Lennon art gallery.

The doors to the John Lennon Art Gallery were completely open, and upon entering it was obvious that vandals and other urban explorers had ransacked the place and taken everything worth having.

All the artwork from the walls was gone, besides the largest pieces like a huge portrait print of John Lennon in the genkan and some prints on the walls in the cafe.

Abandoned Cafe/Bar/Restaurant

The bar was fully stocked with beer boots and steins, but some of the shelves had been knocked down and piles of broken glass were on the floor.

Looking up, mould had begun to spread across the ceiling, staining it black above the light fixtures. A large yellow stuffed snake had been left in the entrance… forgotten by a previous explorer I guess.

There was a photo behind the register of the courtyard area back in the day. It looked completely different. It’s amazing what a few years of disuse will do to a place.

entrance hallway inside the john lennon art gallery cafe building with a big duotone photo of john lennon and a plant with light streaming through the doorway
Entrance inside the John Lennon Art Cafe building – © Wild Lovely World
inside the john lennon art gallery cafe with posters on the wall and a sign to the bag one gallery at the gluck kingdom
Inside the John Lennon Art Cafe building – © Wild Lovely World

The Gluck Kingdom Courtyard & Abandoned Car

Back out in the overgrown courtyard, taking a look through the windows to the houses, the rooms were filled with broken picture frames and furniture, which looked lovely enough despite the emerald green moss carpeting the floor. A little further, and beneath a tarp, we found an old car. At least someone took the time to cover it so it wouldn’t get so weathered.

large red building with overgrown abandoned courtyard at the gluck kingdom hokkaido japan - hanau city hall replica with brothers grimm statue
Hanau City Hall replica with bronze statue of the Brothers Grimm in front – © Wild Lovely World
abandoned overgrown fountain and a german style architecture building at the gluck kingdom theme park near obihiro hokkaido japan
Fountain and building at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World

Exiting The Gluck Kingdom

I wanted to explore more, but we were running out of time. I had to get back to Obihiro for a train back home, so we had to make a pretty sharp exit. Looking deeper through the trees, we saw many buildings. My friends became anxious as we heard some strange sounds out there and we decided to head back.

Abandoned Theme Park Rides

I never saw the theme park rides area, but later when I got home I read online there were some rides and roller coasters, and even a windmill hidden out there somewhere. I would have loved to see it, but maybe next time if I ever get a chance to go again.

german style architecture buildings overgrown with trees and plants at the gluck kingdom abandoned theme park obihiro hokkaido japan
Abandoned German style architecture buildings at The Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World
white church style building hidden and obscured by trees
White church style building hidden and obscured by trees – © Wild Lovely World

Reflecting On Exploring The Gluck Kingdom

Heading back to the car, Glucks-Konigreich goodie bags in hand, my friends and I couldn’t stop recollecting what we saw and found in that place. What a totally unexpected and mysterious adventure.

I am glad my friend Rina mentioned it, and we had the opportunity to go in and explore with our own eyes.

She commented it was strange for her, as she visited when it was open and now after it has been abandoned. I suggested that maybe more people went there after it had closed down, as that kind of thing is incredibly exciting to people like us, who are brave enough to risk it.

The park’s original aim of promoting tourism to the Obihiro area failed, but it certainly made me want to visit again.

three women walking in an overgrown abandoned courtyard in japan
© Wild Lovely World
overgrown abandoned gothic castle at japanese theme park the gluck kingdom in hokkaido japan
Abandoned castle building at the Gluck Kingdom – © Wild Lovely World

Links & Further Reading/Photos About The Gluck Kingdom

Location & Map Of The Gluck Kingdom In Hokkaido

Coordinates: 42.744594, 143.202365
Link to location in Google Maps

Date Visited

I visited The Gluck Kingdom on Sunday 10th May 2015.

Gallery

More photos taken from my visit to the abandoned German theme park in Hokkaido: The Gluck Kingdom.


Abandoned German Theme Park In Hokkaido: The Gluck Kingdom – Thanks For Reading!

Have you been here or anywhere like it? What do you think about this abandoned German theme park in Hokkaido, Japan? I’d love to hear about your experiences and thoughts in the comments! – Lauren x

wild lovely world thanks for reading end of blog post
Thanks for reading! 🙂 – © Wild Lovely World

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Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com

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