The tiny Hashima Island, with only 1.2 km of shoreline, is also called Gunkanjima because the rows of reinforced concrete buildings resemble a warship (gunkan in Japanese). It gained worldwide notoriety when an abandoned island modeled after Gunkanjima appeared in the James Bond movie “Skyfall.”
Hashima used to be a busy subsea coal mining island, and around 5,300 people lived there at its peak in the 1960s. The island was home to Japan’s first reinforced concrete high-rise apartment (completed in 1916). It even had a cinema. Hashima has been uninhabited since 1974, when the coal mine closed. After that, the entire island was off-limits, but around 2000, it began to attract attention as a modern industrial heritage site, and in 2015, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, there is only a well-maintained viewing corridor on the southern part of the island where visitors can land. Five companies offer sightseeing tours from the port of Nagasaki (tours take 2~3 hours).