The small Japanese island of Hashima (or Gunkanjima - the Battleship Island) is today an abandoned ghost place, but it was not always like this.
It was inhabited from 1887 to 1974, when Mitsubishi purchased the island to build a mine and retrieve coal from the bottom of the sea. In 1959 this small 6.3-hectare island had a population of 5.259, which made it the most densely populated place on earth. Workers lived in large blocks of flats, which were actually the first concrete buildings constructed in Japan. Nowadays they are all empty and ruined, but you can still find some furniture, posters or other personal belongings left behind by the coal mine workers.
Hashima played an important role in modernization of Japan, but when the 1960s brought transition to petroleum as an energy source Mitsubishi shut down the operations on the island. It became deserted in 1974, but after constructing new sightseeing walkways it was open to visitors again in 2009.
The ruins of the old coal mine are now a popular attraction, they were designated as a national historic site in 2014 (now on a Tentative Unesco List). The island served also as a setting for various films, including James Bond "Skyfall", Japanese "Midori Naki Shima" or an episode of History Channel's "Life After People".
- 18km from Nagasaki
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Thank you Yuko for this card!