Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Battleship Island: Nagasaki Prefecture

Battleship Island officially known as Hashima and it operated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mine.  Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began extracting coal from undersea mines.  At it's peak in 1959, the 6.3-hectare island's population reached 5,259 inhabitants with a population density of 83,500 people per km2 for the whole island.

As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down and  the Nagasaki Battleship Island mines were no exception.  Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974 and today it is empty and bare which is why it is sometimes called Ghost Island.

With no industry to support it, the island was quickly abandoned and has remained that way ever since. The eerie atmosphere and well-preserved concrete structures continue to spark the imagination of photographers and filmmakers alike, most recently serving as the inspiration for the villain Silva’s island lair in the 2012 James Bond film SKYFALL.

It was a real ambition of mine to get a closeup of this magnificent structure even though it is crumbling and falling apart as we speak.  To see an island that literally falling into the sea and slowly but surely disappearing from view was an amazing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to do whilst they can still can or better still whilst the island is still there. You had better hurry up while is still exists, barely though!

Please check out Battleship Island on a map:

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:

Getting closer

close up

Great day for it!

Looks like a Battleship

Popular with tourists

Please click on the video below to view Nagasaki Battleship Island: