AsiaIslandJapan

Hashima Island

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HISTORY

It is one of 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, approximately 15 kilometers from Nagasaki City. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974, when it served as a coal mining base. The place is frightening for its immense abandoned concrete buildings in the middle of the ocean. It has been administered as part of Nagasaki since 2005, formerly belonging to the ancient city of Takashima. In 1890, during the industrialization of Japan, Mitsubishi bought the island and started the project to extract coal in underwater mines. Japan's first large-scale concrete building was built on the site, an apartment block completed in 1916 to accommodate the ever-increasing mass of workers. The island's population reached its peak in 1959, with 5259 inhabitants, a population density of 835 persons per hectare throughout the island, or 1391 per hectare in the residential district.

WHY THIS PLACE

With the replacement of coal by oil in Japan during the 1960s, mines for extracting the mineral began to be closed across the country, and those in Hashima were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closure of its activities on the island in 1974, and the site was completely evacuated, becoming known as "Ghost Island". Access to Hashima was not re-established until April 22, 1999, more than 20 years after the closure.

CURIOSITIES

In 2008, an NGO filed a request with UNESCO for the island to become a World Heritage Site. The following year, a small section of Hashima was reopened for tourist visits.

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