Thursday, October 18, 2007

Japanese Deer Park Buena Park 1968

About a month or so I posted images of the Fuji Folk at the Japanese Deer Park located in Buena Park, California. Here are some more pictures of the park, before the marketing team needed to create characters. The original park idea was to emulate the world famous Nara Deer Park in Japan. The Nara park is centuries old and features tame deer who will eat out of your hand, located in a rural setting near some of the most revered shrines in Japan. Japanese Deer Park showcased the culture and arts of Japan in a nice quiet way. The biggest draw was the deer, but there were other draws including Koi ponds, Japanese garden and feeding doves. The first image is of the gated entrance with a Tori gate.

The second image shows the popular Koi fish pond filled with fish.

The third image shows some of the garden, pools and architecture found in the park. It also shows how close it was to the Nabisco factory.

The final image shows one of the employees feeding a dove.

22 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

WOW! These are some of the nicest photos I've ever seen of the Japanese Village. I feel lucky that, as a kid, I lived in Huntington Beach: close enough to Buena Park and Anaheim to be able to see so many extinct attractions such as the Japanese Village, the Alligator Farm, Movie World (with "Cars of Stars and Planes of Fame"), Movieland Wax Museum, and of course Disneyland and Knott's.

Chris Merritt said...

The color and sharpness of these slides are particularly nice... Man, I miss seeing the Nabisco building off the 5 freeway - it was a great landmark for figuring out where the JDP once was...

Anonymous said...

When I worked for Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, I was transfered to the new industrial park (part of Hughes) that was the old Deer Park. It was called the Village Industrial Park, but we all called it the Deer Park. I picked up a stone in an open field next to the new buildings that was part of the old Koi pond, and marked it as such, and used it as a paper weight ever since.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Anonymous- great memory and great item.

walterworld said...

I miss that Nabisco building too! It used to be one of the signs that told us that we were close to Disneyland when heading South on I-5. Next time I pass that area I'll look to my right and remember the Deer Park as well...

Thank you for another fine post---

LMendez said...

Wow! What memories.

The Nabisco plant in the background of one of the photos was just blocks away from my old high school (William N. Neff High) in La Mirada
Unfortuunately, like the Deer Park it too would eventually give way to industrial parks.

All of that area (just east of the 5 Freeway) next to Nabisco used to be the drag strip for the local hot rodders from La Mirada and Buena Park. One of the main strips was "Trojan Way", the street where Neff High was located; named after the mascot (the Neff Trojans).

I think it's still named Trojan Way.

I rememeber that there was also a huge field next to the Nabsico building between Nabisco and the high school that housed the KFI Radio Station tower. I remember that back in the 60s a small piper cub (a Cessna) en route to/from Fullerton Airport clipped it and about 30% of the tower came down.

Anyways, great memories. Too bad there's little that remains there.

Greedy Landlord said...

sometime after the park closed the deer or some of them were taken to trabuco canyon and kept in pens at Coto De Caza country club, a few escaped and I encountered them on a couple of occasions on my parents ranch, the deer were about 1/5 the size of a blacktail or mule deer common in the area. I wonder if any survived?

Rich (Owner) Calico Wood Signs said...

these are the best pictures of JVDP I have seen in a long time and I would love to see more.

Toni said...

I came by your post by way of Google Images. My husband and I were just talking about Japanese Deer Park and I was hoping to find good pics online. Very nice!! Thank you!

We both grew up in West Anaheim, only a few miles from the park and remember it fondly...such a quiet and serene place.

Anonymous said...

I used to visit the park as a kid in the 70's.Does anyone know the date it closed?

Anonymous said...

It was nice seeing photos of the Deer Park and the Nabisco building. I went to Neff High and drove by it a million times. We use to eat at Jerry's Bar B Q or the Denny's at Valley View and the 5 freeway. Yhanks for the memories.

mary said...

yes thre nabisco building was the point you knew you were getting close to disney land and all those coolhappy places like the deer park...what memories....!!!! I MISS IT ALL !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum, Jerrys was the bomb. We rode bikes there in the 70's from La Mirada. Go neff Trojans!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum, Jerrys was the bomb. We rode bikes there in the 70's from La Mirada. Go neff Trojans! Class of 76

DavePerelman said...

Very nice, I used to go to the park while in High School and afterwards when my wife any I were married in '75
(still are)

Went to Neff High School too, I too remembered when that Cessna clipped the tether wire in the KFI tower. It didn't do any damage to the tower though, just totaled the aircraft and killed all on board

We used to go dirt bike riding behind Nabisco before they started messing with it.

Anonymous said...

I too remember all of these things. Went to Neff, first class out of the school. It was sad to see our school torn down to accommodate school district greed. Every time I drive past Gahr high, I remember dear old Neff.

I also remember roaming the fields behind Nabisco, as there was a dairy farm owned by the Van derham's. They moved out to Chino and other areas of the state. My brother is still in contact with them.

Anonymous said...

I visited the park once. I was 17 so around 1973.

While we were eating lunch, I noticed a few people taking pictures of some folks seated at another table nearby. It was Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and his daughter. WOW!

We got to say hi and they were very cordial. It was quite a moment for me as they were both legends in the entertainment business. I liked the theme park and still have a brochure today. I wish it was still around.

BurtB said...

as a kid, in the early 70's, my folks took us from the west end of the san fernando valley to the deer park.

Great memory from childhood.

Anonymous said...

I was a boy in the 6th grade living just a walk away in the homes next to the Village.
I and may friends all watched the project grow. The guy who started the it was given the first DEER as gifts in a business deal. He was a multi-millionaire and one thing lead to another. His respect for the Japanese culture started the whole thing and then he just wanted to see what he could do and then lost interest. I got to know the Marketing Director and did some work for him one summer. I learned about the Park and many other things. I was just entering 8th grade but that was good real world learning. REGARDS DON HANICH at donh466@live.com

Patrick DeMent said...

I am Patrick DeMent...My father (Patric), and my boyhood friend Floyd Finegan and my younger brother Glenn, and I worked for the owner, Allen Parkinson, at the Movieland Wax Museum..We played day worker roles in the park's development from it's earliest days..lots of fond memories of the wonderful people who worked there.

I remember so well, as a high school senior I brought the first pair of Japanese Bear cubs from the Los Angeles International Airport..

Expecting fully grown pair of bears, I rented a full size (16-footer) moving van in Buena Park..arrived at the old Tiger Airlines terminal and watched in surprise as a guy hand carried two cubs in little carriers, one in each hand, to my truck.

Later, I past a truck scales without stopping to weigh..At seventeen, I had no clue I was supposed to stop..

A CHP motorcycle officer pulled me over..checked the "cute" little bears and proceeded to write me a ticket..

A few months later, I was with the 27th Marines in Vietnam..received a court notice to appear or otherwise face a judgement including possible jail time..I sent the court a letter pleading for execution of such a warrant..They responded by dropping the case.

Those "cute"little bear grew to be strong enough to rip the water pump motors from their twin 7/8-inch steel bolts that were used to mount them to the concrete deck of their cage, to pump fresh water 24/7..

Mona Poe..and all those who worked for her and Mr. Parkinson at the museum and deer park were wonderful human beings who made my teenage years there very special..and the memories..ahhh the memories..precious.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with the park (and it was also as the Enchantment Village) that there was no tree cover.

I liked the park, and visited it after we visited Knotts or Cars of the Stars. It just got too hot in the summer without the shade.

Anonymous said...

To see some great film footage of the Japanese Village at its best, watch the first episode of the fifth season of the "Mission: Impossible" TV series. This episode was filmed in 1970 with several scenes shot at the Village, which stood in for Japanese locations. Season five is available on DVD and can be rented from Netflix or similar services.