Japan Travel

Hashima Island in Skyfall

Choosing a travel experience based on James Bond movies is not an inconceivable idea. Many die-hard fans have made the trip to Koh Phi Phi island in Thailand (The Man with the Golden Gun), stayed at the Hotel Danieli in Venice (Moonraker) and visited  Villa del Balbianello on the shores of Lake Como where Bond recovered in Casino Royale.

Hashima Island
Hashima Island *

The latest destination to spark interest is Hashima, the deserted island in Skyfall, the location of the villain’s hideout in the latest 007 flick. In the movie, it is referred to as the Dead City off the coast of Macau, but Hashima is located near Nagasaki in Japan.

From a distance, the island resembles a battleship and is often attributed the name Battleship Island (Gunkanjima in Japanese).

Owned by Mitsubishi, in 1959, the densely-populated island was a coal mining town which turned into a ghost town once the mines were officially closed down in 1974. The inhabitants abandoned it en masse and the buildings were left to crumble. Today, the small island resembles a war zone or a scene from a post-apocalyptic world.

Hashima Island
Stairway to Hell – Photo Credit **

The island re-opened to the public in 2009 and can only be visited if you book a tour. Due to the risk of building collapse, the island can only be viewed from designated platforms so don’t expect to get too close to the ruins or see the exact spot were the scenes from the movie appear. These were shot in the safety of the studio.

Hashima Island is located approximately 19 km from Nagasaki which is in the northwestern part of the island of Kyushu, in the most south-western part of Japan. Nagasaki can be reached from Tokyo by air in 1 hour and 40 minutes or from Osaka by air in 55 minutes. It takes approximately 50 minutes to get from Nagasaki to Hashima.

* Photo credit – Hisagi (氷鷺) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons
** Photo credit – Jordy Theiller [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.