Nine locations to visit right now, and one to save for the spring.
Japan’s most famous urban ruins weren’t always deserted, as shown in this video from the 1960s when Gunkanjima’s ghost town was still alive and well.
Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima, “Battleship Island,” is an uninhabited island off the coast of Nagasaki which James Bond fans may recognise as the spooky deserted island of bad guy Silva in Skyfall. Access to Hashima, which has been abandoned since the 1970s, is highly restricted – tours do run to the island, but visitors are only permitted to access certain viewing points, and are not allowed anywhere near the crumbling buildings for safety reasons.
But now that researchers from Nagasaki University have created a stunning digital 3-D model of the entire island, you can explore the area from the comfort of your own armchair! The team used camera drones and laser scanners to capture 28,000 images of the site, splicing them together to render the island, and you can check out the results below!
Congratulations, Japan; you’re on your way to being awarded yet another UNESCO World Heritage honor!
This time around the honor will be going to “Sites of Japan Meiji Industrial Revolution,” which includes Nagasaki’s legendary (and awesomely spooky) “Battleship Island” among others, granted it passes the final approval stage.
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.
Despite being filled with man-eating giants and heartless bureaucrats, people around the world can’t get enough of smash hit anime and manga Attack on Titan. But while fans wait patiently for the rumored continuation of the animated TV series, production is moving ahead on the franchise’s live-action theatrical feature, which now has a filming location and an actor chosen to play Titan-hating protagonist Eren Yeager.
Google Street View seems to have its priorities all out of whack. While only just getting around to snapping the more remote areas of mainland Japan and having yet to cover the majority of Canada, Google sent out one intrepid employee to explore the completely abandoned Japanese island of Gunkanjima.
Hashima Island, better known as Gunkanjima (lit. Battleship Island) due to its warship-like silhouette, is a small island off the coast of Nagasaki with a remarkable history. Owned by Mitsubishi as a coal mining facility from 1887 to 1974, this was once the most densely populated place on the planet, with more than 5,000 inhabitants crammed into its 6 square-kilometre dimensions. Now, the place is deserted and all that’s left of the once-bustling metropolis is an eerie landscape of crumbling, grey buildings.
When the Bond villain Raoul Silva chose the island as his secret lair in the latest 007 movie Skyfall, Gunkanjima received worldwide attention. But did Bond’s nemesis know that the island is home to Japan’s first-ever multi-storey concrete reinforced apartment block? We visited the island and checked out areas off-limits to the public to find out more about what makes this the perfect villain’s lair. Take the full virtual tour and see our photos after the jump.