Nagasaki is known for having a lot of history, being the only port open to foreign trade during Japan’s long isolation in the Edo Period. But one of Nagasaki’s most captivating tourist attractions really isn’t that old – Hashima Island, better known as Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island. It’s eerie existence brings haikyo (urban ruins) fans from all over the world. If you can’t make it to the island yourself, or are unsatisfied with the limited visibility from the tour, wait no longer. Thanks to “Gunkanjima Archives,” an organization run by Nishi Nihon Newspaper, which is dedicated to bringing you photos and videos of the desolate island, you can now take an Ultra HD drone tour of the island in a spellbinding video.
But first, let’s get to know the island a little better. Gunkanjima came into the spotlight when it hosted Raoul Silva, the villain in the most recent 007 movie, Skyfall and then subsequently getting coverage on Google Street View. It was once the home to thousands, with cement apartment blocks, schools and even a movie theater, while functioning as a coalmine for over a hundred years. It was abandoned in the 1970s and sits in decay, as the harsh weather breaks down the structures bit by bit. While this may sound like a great place for the secret lair for villains, it’s not exactly exploration friendly, with many huge buildings in imminent danger of collapsing. Regardless of the danger (or maybe tempted by it) people still want an up-close view.
▼ The view you’ve been waiting for on Battleship Island.
Acknowledging the fact that people were bribing local fishermen to take them to the island to explore the lost world, the city decided to create a tour for the public, so they could see the island in a safe and controlled manner, also recommending it to become an UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour is fun and all, but it’s really hard not to jump over the rail and explore the beautiful ruins up close. So, let’s get it to it. Without further ado, Gunkanjima, as seen by a drone in Ultra HD: