Battleship Island is Japan's Real Life Bond Villain Lair

Battleship Island is Japan's Real Life Bond Villain Lair

Sony provides some exclusive footage of Hashima Island: the crumbling abandoned island that served as the lair of Bond villain Raoul Silva.

Hashima Island was once a bustling community built around a coal mining facility off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Known as "Battleship Island" due to it's distinct battleship-like silhouette, the island was owned by the Mitsubishi corporation from 1887 to 1974. It was once the most densely populated place in the world, with more than 5,000 inhabitants crammed into its 6 square-kilometre dimensions. Now, having been abandoned for almost forty years, the island is nothing more than a creepy shell of crumbling buildings and twisted metal. The perfect lair for a supervillain, it appeared as Raoul Silva's secret hideaway in the most recently released Bond movie: Skyfall.

Rocket News 24 was lucky enough to accompany Sony photographers to some areas of the island that have been off-limits to the public for over thirty years. Although tours to the island started in 2009, most of the interesting ruins - including the deserted apartment blocks - still remain off-limits to the public.

The Sony team went equipped with a Sony Action Cam, a HD video recorder attached to a remote controlled helicopter. They were able to take some amazing footage of some of the areas that were deemed too dangerous for people to set foot. You can see the full video, accompanied by some overly cheerful music considering the subject matter, above.

When it was still in operation, there were about forty buildings on the islands. A bustling community complete with schools, restaurants, shops and a hospital, the island was also home to Japan's first-ever multi-storey concrete reinforced apartment block. Today, the island is an urban explorer's wet dream, full of crumbling concrete, rusted metal and shattered windows.

Obviously, no-one is maintaining any buildings on the island, and the harsh elements are slowly reclaiming it. Several sea walls have collapsed and it won't be too long before the entire island is simply swallowed up by the sea. There are hopes that after its publicity boost in Skyfall, the island may be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but for now, these photos are the only way to really preserve this interesting snapshot of Japanese history.

Source & Images: Rocket News 24

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"epic music" version of the video

Steven Bogos:
"epic music" version of the video

Much better thank you.

I also have the urge to go watch Inception again.

Fun fact: large portions of the film Battle Royale 2: Requiem are filmed on that same island. Surprisingly that isn't mentioned on the wikipeds page for the island, but if anyone wants to see a bit more of it there's that. Not a terrible movie, either.

Asia meets Pripyat

What exactly caused the island to end up like this?

xXSnowyXx:
Fun fact: large portions of the film Battle Royale 2: Requiem are filmed on that same island. Surprisingly that isn't mentioned on the wikipeds page for the island, but if anyone wants to see a bit more of it there's that.

Is the second film any good? Also how much of the island did they use, if entering parts of it are restricted?

sb666:
What exactly caused the island to end up like this?

xXSnowyXx:
Fun fact: large portions of the film Battle Royale 2: Requiem are filmed on that same island. Surprisingly that isn't mentioned on the wikipeds page for the island, but if anyone wants to see a bit more of it there's that.

Is the second film any good? Also how much of the island did they use, if entering parts of it are restricted?

It was a coal mine and post war the demand for coal fell. The rise of diesel and electric locomotives for trains and use of nuclear power stations means that coal was just not needed as much.

I honestly would of said this island was Russian or something when I saw Skyfall.

Didn't know you could visit a place like this, perhaps a return to Japan is needed........more than it was a few weeks ago.

I remember seeing a discovery channel documentary on the island. Pretty neat, an entire city built to support a purpose and abandoned when that purpose was no longer needed.

sb666:
Is the second film any good? Also how much of the island did they use, if entering parts of it are restricted?

I thought it was alright. Not a masterpiece, not as interesting as the first one, but it was interesting enough and I enjoyed it...it didn't do too well critically though so there's that to consider. As for what parts of the island they used, beats me. I don't exactly know a lot about the place, I just recognised it from the pictures...though somehow I didn't when I watched Skyfall. Shows how much I was paying attention to that one.

Steven Bogos:
"epic music" version of the video

Hmmmm a Battleship movie?
Look down
Now up

-Dragmire-:
I remember seeing a discovery channel documentary on the island. Pretty neat, an entire city built to support a purpose and abandoned when that purpose was no longer needed.

Saw a Discovery channel special myself that touched on it too. It was that "World after Humans" special or whatever it was called, that tried to look at what would happen to everything we made if humans suddenly disappeared.

From that point of view, the fact that the island was abandoned and now left to crumble, showing a vision of what would happen to our buildings and objects when humanity finally bites the dust, it's really interesting. You don't see many other places like that, beyond something like, say, Chernobyl. And before you start pointing fingers at Egypt or Aztecs, those ancient stone buildings, those are ancient. Chernobyl and Hashima Island are modern. And word is those places likely won't last as long as the pyramids or the ruins of Maccu Piccu.

Humbling, eh?

munx13:
Asia meets Pripyat

How do you say "Get out of here, stalker" in japanese?

Badass Would love to visit it [with all the needed safety precautions of course] just for the sheer experience it would be,seriously it would be like walking through Fallout 3 ^_^

Chessrook44:

-Dragmire-:
I remember seeing a discovery channel documentary on the island. Pretty neat, an entire city built to support a purpose and abandoned when that purpose was no longer needed.

Saw a Discovery channel special myself that touched on it too. It was that "World after Humans" special or whatever it was called, that tried to look at what would happen to everything we made if humans suddenly disappeared.

From that point of view, the fact that the island was abandoned and now left to crumble, showing a vision of what would happen to our buildings and objects when humanity finally bites the dust, it's really interesting. You don't see many other places like that, beyond something like, say, Chernobyl. And before you start pointing fingers at Egypt or Aztecs, those ancient stone buildings, those are ancient. Chernobyl and Hashima Island are modern. And word is those places likely won't last as long as the pyramids or the ruins of Maccu Piccu.

Humbling, eh?

Ah, that must have been it. I remember watching quite a few episodes of life after people. Quite an interesting, if slightly depressing, show.

-Dragmire-:
I remember seeing a discovery channel documentary on the island. Pretty neat, an entire city built to support a purpose and abandoned when that purpose was no longer needed.

Nothing too rare I think, at least in some parts of the world. In Romania there are towns founded around mines and industry centers during the communist period. Now that the mines are out of use, the industry is comatose and the infrastructure sucks for commuting, I doubt those towns can keep up and could be abandoned. The difference is that these towns are in the middle of the country, not some island.

Also, in China there are entire cities built just for the sake of building. Ghost towns just because the price is high and the population doesn't have the money to buy property there. And the nice part is that they keep building so they have something to work on. But that is an old communist move, as long as they have resources.

wooty:
I honestly would of said this island was Russian or something when I saw Skyfall.

I thought it was too.

Also, is it just me, or does that looke like a freaking awesome location for a videogame level?

Silent Hill 'Battleship island' edition, come on Konami.

For the record, they didn't actually film Skyfall on the island.

Ever since I saw these pictures --> http://gakuran.com/gunkanjima-ruins-of-a-forbidden-island/ <-- I've wanted to visit that island. Cool to see it from this perspective too!

Here's something I've been wondering: living space in Japan is really valuable and sought after, right? Then how come this island isn't being used? Sure, they don't need the coal anymore, but you can use the island for things other than that. Besides the before mentioned living space, you could set up a bunch of businesses there, maybe a small hotel or two, a ferry service to ferry people to and from there to the main land (islands?), and such.

Oh shit. How did they find that place?! Thank god I moved my malevolent forces of darkness into a different Villain lair before it was too late!

I knew about this island from Cracked.com months before watching Skyfall. I wish they had a whole action sequence set on the island; it just seems like a place for a movie shootout.

You know, this island was also the location for the very end of Killer 7. If you want a more videogame-ish angle, anyway.

PunkRex:
Silent Hill 'Battleship island' edition, come on Konami.

That reminds me, Forbidden Siren 2 is set on this island.

sb666:

PunkRex:
Silent Hill 'Battleship island' edition, come on Konami.

That reminds me, Forbidden Siren 2 is set on this island.

Never seen that one, I was just about to ask if it was used for any J-horror movies. Sounds like someplace they might have used for an "Evil Dead Trap" sequel. :)

Ldude893:
I knew about this island from Cracked.com months before watching Skyfall. I wish they had a whole action sequence set on the island; it just seems like a place for a movie shootout.

Well, if the island is in as bad a shape as it looks, doing any kind of serious stuntwork there would probably be quite dangerous, and a huge liability issue, even if they could find stunt people willing to do it as those people are ironically fairly safety minded and want to be in control of everything apparently (or so I understand from watching shows about it). To do it they probably would have had to make a soundstage that simply duplicated the look of Battleship Island and used that, and honestly that would kind of defeat the point, seeing as it's seems to just be a fairly typical pile of abandoned and decaying buildings like many others.

Not to mention I figure they probably blew most of the action-FX budget on the final sequences that they named the movie after. In this movie the entire "Battleship Island" lair was pretty much just a lead up to giving James Bond a reason to be a smart ass, before getting one upped on it later.

On a side note, Skyfall's success kind of bugs me on a lot of levels. It's not the vision of James Bond I grew up with, which arguably IS the point, but I personally think they humanized/gimped him a bit too much.

Once the most densely populated place in the world?

soren7550:
Here's something I've been wondering: living space in Japan is really valuable and sought after, right? Then how come this island isn't being used? Sure, they don't need the coal anymore, but you can use the island for things other than that. Besides the before mentioned living space, you could set up a bunch of businesses there, maybe a small hotel or two, a ferry service to ferry people to and from there to the main land (islands?), and such.

The island is only 16 acres in size. That is only a little over 7 city blocks in size total. (using the engineers 100k sq feet for a city block, actual blocks vary a bit in size)

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the old U.S. Coaltowns like the one depicted in Rocket Boys (October Sky). There was an old extremely large paper factory that burned down in my town that sat abandoned for quite a few years. It was an experience to go back there and walk through the ruins. It was especially interesting how fast the woods surrounding the factory were reclaiming the building and what was left of the parking lots....

*adds "visit Gunkanjima" to list of things to do before death*

just realized. this is THE perfect place for any hide and seek, paintball and hungergames imitation. i suggest for rounding up bunch of people, go to gunship island and have fun! yay

Oh, so THAT's where Toei animation came up with the name of that island in that One Piece filler arc... Huh. You learn something new every day, I suppose.

that island really is cool. looked great in the film too

 

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