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A visit to Ghost Island in Nagasaki, Japan

In America, we have our ghost towns, many of which were born around mining ventures. The towns fell into ruin as the ore played out and the population slowly trickled out of town. It seems that we don't hold a monopoly on ghost towns, and one in particular, which stands out on an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. The island, whose true name is Hashima, is also called Gunkanjima (or 'Battleship Island'), because of its shape, which resembles a battleship.

Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island, Japan
Flickr user: kntrty Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Mitsubishi company built many of the structures on this island during the Japanese industrial revolution, and the island was occupied from 1887 to 1974 with a population that grew to over 5,000 inhabitants, many of whom worked in the coal mines there. Death came to the island when petroleum replaced coal as the major fuel.

The really spooky part of the island is the high rise concrete buildings that stand abandoned as sentinels of a past gone era. These building were some of Japan's first high rise structures. The island was at one time, home to shops, apartments, movie theaters, schools and other businesses found in cities.

In 2009, the Japanese opened the island to tourists, and now you are able to take a trip to the island and visit some designated areas. If you believe in ghosts, this would be a good place to find some of the long dead inhabitants, at least in your mind. Don't think about it to hard, or you might even start to visualize them. A person's mind plays some strange tricks when surrounded by the tall dilapidated buildings, standing vacant on the island.

If you don't plan on physically taking a trip to Hashima, you can see the Island for yourself in the video and slideshow of this article.

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Until next time, we will let the "world turn onto our next destination."

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