The mysterious ghost town on Hashima Island, Japan.

Once the most densely populated place in the world, the island of Hashima in Japan is now an abandoned place that gives shivers down your spine!

Among the most unusual and abandoned places in the world, Hashima Island is not to be outdone. How did a dynamic city become so deserted? In the space of 40 years, the inhabitants have completely abandoned the place, leaving the vegetation to regain its rights and time to work slowly but surely.

At the time of emancipation

At the beginning of the 19th century, Hashima Island, also known in Japan as Gunkanjima, was a small island still uninhabited. At the end of the 19th century, Mitsubishi bought the island and decided to settle its workforce there, including miners who were in charge of coal extraction.

Until the 1930s, Hashima Island prospered and grew to the proportions it has today, becoming a semi-artificial island.

Prosperity continued to grow until the 1950s and 1960s, when more than 5,000 people lived permanently on the island, an area equivalent to 6.3 hectares, becoming one of the most densely populated places with 83,500 inhabitants/km².

But the 1970s sounded the death knell for the island and the time of decline began inexorably: faced with the oil shocks and the decline of coal, the island was gradually abandoned to be completely abandoned in 1974.

Forbidden to the public until the end of the 2000s, it reopens its doors after major development work has been carried out.

An impressive abandoned city

The island, which resembles a Japanese battleship of the years, hence its nickname "Gunkanjima" (Battleship Island), is reminiscent of the remains of an ancient urban battle rather than a real war machine.

480 metres long and 160 metres wide, the ghost island of Hashima, 15 km from the city of Nagasaki, now houses the remains of Japan's first large all-concrete buildings.

The visitor who goes to Hashima has the impression that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse passed through there: abandoned to the elements, especially to the passage of the various typhoons that crisscross Nagasaki Bay, the island leaves an image of desolation that is both terrible and beautiful.

It is no coincidence that the cinema has taken over this lost place to make it the background for one of its most famous films, namely James Bond's "Skyfall". It was on this island that Agent 007's rival erected his secret lair.

Hashima Island is the perfect natural backdrop for disaster movies, and is now a popular destination for Internet users: Google Street View allows you to wander around this ghost town from your sofa.

How to visit Hashima Island?

In 2011, 300,000 people followed the guided tour of the island, which is limited to a specially designed route. This tour lasts about 3 hours (including 1 hour on the island) and various tourist agencies in Nagasaki offer it. The Ohato and Ourakaikandori tram stops on line 1, lead to the Nagasaki Port Ferry Terminal and Tokiwa Terminal stops, from where one can leave to visit the island.

Audio Video The mysterious ghost town on Hashima Island, Japan.
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