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Hashima Island. Enter the forgotten world

Welcome to Hashima Island

On 27th June 2013, Google released brand new street views of a forgotten world off the coast of Japan, in Nagasaki Prefecture. Take a haunted trip through history and discover the secrets & myths hidden amongst Hashima Island’s mysterious, desolate landscape.

Explore the islandby dragging and clicking
around your scenery

In the Nikkyu Flats you can go up and down the nine floors from here

9 Floors, constructed in 1918: Buildings 16-20, Nikkyu Flats

‘The Stairway to Hell’ (+ Senpujuki Temple)

9 Floors, constructed 1945: ‘Block 65’

7 Floors, constructed in 1958: Building 70, School

7 Floors, constructed in 1916: Building 30, Flats for Subcontractors

Coal Mine

Welcome to Hashima Island

On June 27th 2013, Google released brand new street view photographs of a forgotten world – Hashima Island, otherwise known as ‘Gunkanjima’, off the South-West coast of Japan in Nagasaki Prefecture. With the aid of Google Chrome, this website allows you to take a digital dip into history to discover the secrets & legends hidden amongst Hashima's mysterious, desolate landscape.

The aim of this site is to give you an advanced introduction into where you are able to explore within the island, adding context and back-story to Google's amazing street-view photography. I hope you enjoy this website as much as I have done creating it...

Hashima Island: The Story

Hashima island is one of the 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture off of the South West coast of Japan, standing at 61,000 square metres in size. But the island was not always uninhabited, as it was once home to a major coal mining operation managed by Mitsubishi, at its peak, housing 5,259 people which resulted in a staggering 83,500 people per square kilometre, making it one of the most densely populated places in world history. The island is also known as 'Battleship Island', named after its external appearance and unique silhouette.

Mitsubishi took control of the island in 1890 after its first inhabitation 3 years earlier, and began its relentless coal mining operation which lasted well beyond two world wars, and almost a century of memories before suddenly fading into history in 1974. Coal mining was slowing down rapidly in the 1960s due to the surge of popular petroleum and thus the island's destiny was decided in ‘74 when Mitsubishi announced the closure of operation.

The island was emptied so quickly that many items and possessions still remain for you to find as you explore the landscape and interiors – maybe you may come across the spirits of cats which couldn't be found before their owners took the rest of their lives back to the mainland in ‘74. All else that remains is lost history, to be lived all over again.

Credits and Author

This site has been designed and developed as a personal interest project by an English designer called Bryan James (@WengersToyBus), partly as an experiment of Google Chrome's capabilities. It is not endorsed by or sponsored by Google, merely a showcasing of both their fantastic map and street view applications as well as Google Chrome's various in-browser technologies.

I have researched heavily on the island and thus would like to name a number of resources, available in their raw forms here and all of which are well worth the jump if this site has tingled your fascinations:

Studies of the Modern Buildings on Gunkanjima Hashima: The Ghost Island, by Brian Burke Gaffney Map of Hashima The Gunkanjima Odyssey


Hashima Island

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