Architecture, Japan

A Villain’s Hideaway

This abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki attracted a lot of attention through the James Bond Skyfall movie. In the film, the villain’s secret hideaway – although not actually filmed on the island’s grounds – seems modeled after it for sure. 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 replaced by petroleum more and more, mining became unprofitable. In the end, production came to a halt. The place ended up being what it still is today.

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.

Hashima – Part 1 and 2 and in better resolution