gunkanjima-island

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The Abandoned Island of Hashima also known as Battleship Island(Gunkanjima)

founded in 1887 its industry was based around it’s undersea coal mines. in 1974 the mines closed after the coal resources were depleted. and almost overnight the islands population left for the mainland leaving behind a concrete time capsule that went untouched for nearly three decades.    

As part of a continuing effort to make the lair of every James Bond villain as ridiculous as possible, the bad guy in Skyfall operates out of an abandoned city on an island, complete with crumbling buildings and objects eerily left behind. Why is it abandoned? Why would a master hacker live there? Because it’s a movie, and because shut up. This is also the place where the villain shoots and kills a girl who has a glass of scotch on her head.

But while the close-ups were shot on a set, you’re seeing a very real place in the distant shots: the Japanese island of Gunkanjima, which once housed over 5,000 people, and now houses zero.

The city served as a coal mining base for almost a hundred years. In the 19th century, Mitsubishi (before they started making cars for Jackie Chan) used to run boats from Nagasaki to the island so workers could dig coal, until they realized that they could save a lot of money by just putting the miners and their families in concrete blocks on the island itself. Some 5,250 miners squeezed onto a 16-acre island, making it the most densely populated independent place on Earth, ever – the equivalent of placing the entire world’s population in Maine.

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31.03.2014 Nagasaki/Gunkanjima

Seriously, this city is so beautiful and I was really lucky: the day started kinda cloudy, but ended super sunny.

So in the morning I washed my stuff at the guesthouse and went out for a walk. I still had time until bording, so I walked around some nice park and up to the famous church. Somehow that one felt different from the ones I visited in Germany. Besides they mixed stories with japanese people which was pretty interesting.

Since there wasn’t much time left I just skipped the Glover garden and went to the meeting point for Gunkanjima. I really wanted to visit that island and didn’t regret spending the money for that tour. Just before I went on the boat a nice girl from Nagasaki started to talk to me. She will start to work for that company from the next day and just joined a tour before. We had a great time together discovering the famous island Gunkanjima.

Somehow I started to imagine: that’s how our earth will look like in some 100’s years. No people left, just rotten stuff. The island deserve its name. On that island I just found another guy from Germany. We are truly everywhere :D

After that refreshing tour the sun was shining and I went for another walk. This time to Chinatown and some shopping area. I randomly walked around and found some nice places. 

Since it is famous for its night view I decided to go on top of Mt Inasa. When I got there, I was next to a japanese guy from Fukuoka, who started talking to me. It’s nice how many people actually talk to me randomly. I’m relived that my Japanese is better than I expected so I can actually talk to them.

That’s how I ended that day: with talking Japanese and drinkin Yebisu for the first time.

Today’s calendar:
Weather: started cloudy but pretty sunny later
Distance: Nagasaki
Accommodation: Nagasaki Guesthouse Casa Noda

Positive: Enjoying incredible places with amazing new people
Negative: nothing