We finally did it! After being engaged for years, we treated ourselves to a proper photoshoot - with a self-timer and trusty tripod, naturally. This was our first visit to the beautiful city of Nara. Although it was short, we made the most of it, sticking mostly to meandering the expansive park, bothering deer, peering into some of Japan's largest and oldest temples, and hiking down quiet streets. Around sunset, we changed things up, and stomped around Nara Dreamland. Yes, that Nara Dreamland. Japan's largest abandoned amusement park was constructed in the 1960s, after being purportedly designed by Walt Disney and sold to a local construction company, as an experiment to see if Disneyland would be a success in Japan.
After turning a profit and garnering attention, Tokyo Disneyland was given the green light and built, decades later. Of course, that meant attendance for Nara Dreamland would deteriorate, and in 2006, the gates closed for good. Ever since, the property owners have been locked in battles with the local governments to sell pieces of the rides and lands for other projects, only to be hit with dead ends and walls. It is currently labelled as private property and is surrounded by a double layer of chain-linked fence and barbed wire. Security patrols regularly, and steep punishments meet those caught trespassing. We took a major risk... These photos are not nearly as glamorous or pristine as an average engagement shoot, but we are pretty proud of what we managed to capture, and feel that the raw-ness to them represents us: someplace new, someplace old, someplace we shouldn't be, hearts pounding, nervous smiles and all.
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