Battleship Island

Posted by on Nov 25, 2011 in Nagasaki, Travel Volunteer Journey | 4 Comments
Battleship Island

Hashima – or Battleship Island – lying just outside the bay of Nagasaki was, for almost 90 years, a bustling coal mining community. The entire place was owned by the Mitsubishi company, who used every scrap of land to house employees, offices and mining facilities in a concrete fortress in the middle of the sea.

Several thousand people lived, and thrived, out here despite the elements but then, in the course of just a few months, the mine was closed and the entire island abandoned. That happened in 1974, since which Hashima has been left to battle mother nature with only a few seabirds for company.

At least until 2009, when tourist boats started landing to have a look at what the world might look like after humans. This eerie, post-apocalyptic landscape is great for photographers, and for Japanese-speakers, probably a fascinating tour, too. But as we were excluded from that, we just stuck our eyes to our lenses and had a look around.

Our time in Nagasaki prefecture was made possible by:

Our own hard work, a quite obscene amount of coffee, and two dozen satsumas.







  1. Eric
    November 25, 2011

    Very nice pictures in this post… and your final comment is soooo funny!

    … But what the hell are Satsumas??

    • Robert
      November 25, 2011

      Its a kind of mandarin orange, and it originates from Satsuma Province wich is a part of todays Kagoshima Prefecture.

    • Katy & Jamie
      November 25, 2011

      Pronounced “zatzooma” in French :)

  2. Kat
    November 25, 2011

    They’re probably talking about the fruit. :)

    There’s something pretty haunting about islands like this. It makes for a good setting of a post-apocalyptic movie, or something like that. We’ve got our own version here in the Philippines, and even though it’s been explored by a lot of people, there’s still that creepy quality to it that never seems to go away.