Located off the South-West coast of Nagasaki in Japan lies the spooky and abandoned Hashima Island.
Shaped like a warship afloat the ocean it is also known as the Gunkanjima or Battleship Island.
Part of the 505 islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture the ghost island of Hashima spreads across 61,000 square meters in size. During its glory days as a major coal mining site, the island was home to 5,259 people which results in an astonishing density of 83,500 people per square kilometer. The island was bought by the Mitsubishi Corporation in 1890 with the intent of extracting coal from undersea beds. A rapid surge in the popularity of petroleum coupled with a dampening demand for coal caused Mitsubishi to abandon its operations at the island in the year 1974.
The entire island seems to have been emptied in a jiffy as many of the personal possessions of the workers can be still found lying around its landscape and interiors. A probable reason could be that the location is prone to typhoons and harsh weather and an impending storm might have prompted them to abandon the place quickly, leaving any unnecessary items behind.
The Hashima Island for a time being housed some of the tallest buildings in Japan. The Nikkyu company apartment structure built from reinforced concrete was almost 9 stories high and had 241 rooms which served as residence for the miners. The island had 30 concrete buildings in total.
Salt Rain Crossing
In front of Block 65, which is a 9 storied high building, lies the Salt Rain Crossing. Waves from typhoons would come and crash here giving the effect of a salty rain. People would stand at the crossing and wait for the waves to retreat in order to reach the markets and the shops.
Named after a Scottish merchant Thomas B. Glover (1838 – 1911) who had strong links to Mitsubishi the building served as residence for the subcontractors. The structure also contained a shop in its basement and had a garden on its roof.
Stairway to Hell
A labyrinth of staircases amidst various buildings leads to the Senpukuji Temple. Due to the rigorous nature of the climb, any person trying to reach the shrine at the summit would experience hellish pain. As a result the path became popularly known as the Stairway to Hell.
The decaying buildings and the crumbling walls of the Hashima Island gives it a rather eerie charm. The weirdly picturesque Island has been used in several music videos and documentaries. It was also the inspiration for the lair of the villain Raoul Silva in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.