Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Nagasaki itself.
Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Nagasaki itself.
photo © Hisagi
photo © Jordy Theiller
The "Stairway to Hell" inside of Hashima Island.
photo © Jordy Theiller

The deserted island of Bond's adversary Silva in the movie SkyFall (2012), might seem the result of the writers' fantasy, but does actually exist. The island is called Hashima, and is located of the coast of Japan.

In 1959, the island was one of the most densely populated areas on earth. On the tiny island (400 x 160 meter), more than 5000 people lived and worked.

The artificial island was developed during the first half of the 20th century for the exploitation of underground coal mines. Mitsubishi, the owner of the mine, thought it would be more efficient if the employees lives closer to the mines. This is how the island was built as a city, including hospitals, schools, shops, cinemas and even a cemetery.

The island was active until 1974, when the coal mines became obsolete due to gas. When the mines were closed, the people left instantly, leaving behind their homes and even some of their belongings. A documentary made by Thomas Nordanstad gives a fascinating inside look of the island, when former island resident Dotokou gives a tour of the island. He remembers how people just tried to make the best of it at the time.

The shot of the Pruva Regina yacht arriving at the island is CGI, as all the shots of that yacht were filmed in Turkey. Many of the scenes on the island in SkyFall were shot on a set made in Pinewood Studios, UK, but the location is nevertheless one of the more memorable sites of the Bond series.

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