Battleship Island – Gunkanjima (Hashima)
Hashima [端島] meaning “Border Island” is an abandoned island, 15km (9 miles) from the port of Nagasaki in western Japan.
Hashima is well-known as Gunkanjima [軍艦島] meaning “Battleship Island” due to its shape.
Unique History of Hashima Island
Mitsubishi owned the island for coal mining in 1890. In 1917, Japan’s first concrete building was constructed to accommodate the workers.
The population reached its peak in 1959, with 5,259 inhabitants and became the most densely populated place in the world. But in January 1974, Mitsubishi shut down the island as petroleum had replaced coal for major fuel source, and in April of the same year the island became uninhabited.
Hashima is 480m x 160m island, but originally about one-third of its current size. Due to mining growth, the island was expanded by 6 times reclamation work since 1890.
Hashima was opened to tourists in 2009.
James Bond Film “Skyfall”
Hashima was the inspiration of Raoul Silva’s Dead City retreat in 007: Skyfall.
Location scouts for the James Bond film Skyfall spent several days on the island but decided to build the sets replicating the eerie look of the island in Pinewood Studios in the U.K. due to its dangerous condition to film.