Hashima, the Japanese Ghost Island

Hashima is a small island near Nagasaki. It was first populated in 1887, when a coal mining facility started its business there. Mitsubishi, which bought the island in 1890 tried to retrieve coal from the bottom of the sea. In 1916 Japan’s first large concrete building was built for those coal-miners. During World War II Koreans had to mine coal here and many died. In 1959 Hashima was the most densely populated place on earth. The mine was closed in 1974 and Hashima is a Ghost Island now. Its Japanese name Gunkan-jima means “Battleship Island”, because that’s just how the island looks like. Visiting Gunkanjima is prohibited right now, but this may change in April.