Architecture, Japan, Landscape

A Villain’s Hideaway

This abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki attracted a lot of attention through the 2012 James Bond Skyfall motion picture. The villain’s secret hideaway, although not actually filmed on the island’s grounds, looked as if it was modeled after it.

The place’s official name is Hashima Island. For its distinctive shape, it is usually called by its nickname Gunkanjima, Japanese for battleship island.

It was in the 1970s when Gunkanjima turned into an abandoned island. Before that, it was inhabited by thousands of miners producing coal from its undersea mines. When coal was more and more replaced by petroleum, mining became unprofitable. In the end, production came to a halt.

40 years after its shutdown, the island was reopened for tourism. Today, a couple of operators offer guided tours from Nagasaki port. Since its structures are prone to collapse anytime, access to the island is fairly restricted. Effectively, you are bound to a few hundred meters of fenced walkways. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most outlandish places you can ever set foot on.

Hashima – Part 1 and 2 and in better resolution