Hashima, the abandoned island

Photo: Jordy Meow

The mysterious abandoned island featured as Silva's lair in Skyfall is a real place, Hashima. Once the world's most densely-populated company town, it's been in ruins for a generation.

The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island's most notable features are the abandoned and undisturbed concrete apartment buildings and the surrounding sea wall. The island has been administered as part of Nagasaki city since 2005; it had previously been administered by the former town of Takashima. ... As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima's 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 called Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009 after 35 years of closure.


    1. Now you’ve reminded me of something that always confounds me whenever I watch certain James Bond films: where do these criminal masterminds get enough money to build their massive secret lairs?

      I find it hard to imagine someone going to Kickstarter and saying, “I want to build a massive underwater structure that I can use to capture submarines…”

  1. Is there some island we can send all the HDR photographers to, and like, leave them there? Please? 

  2. Just saw Skyfall last night and that scene was one of those little continuity details that ruined it for me… they supposedly sail from Macau to Hashima overnight… it’s gotta be over a thousand miles, what what? I know in the movie it wasn’t “supposed” to be Hashima necessarily, but knowing that it was a real place ruined the illusion for me.

  3. I’ve always wanted to plant a giant tree there.  Like, a really giant tree, something that would eat up the city, take over the entire island, and attract Totoros.

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