The Ghost Island of Japan

Yuji Saiga took a neat series of photos of the "ghost island" of Japan:

During its peak in 1959, the island had almost 5,000 residents (0r 1,391 people per hectare) making it one of the mostly densely populated places on earth. The island had it’s own schools, theaters, shops, restaurants and playgrounds.

However as oil began to replace coal in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s as the main energy source, Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974. The island became a decaying ghost town (it’s now often referred to as Ghost Island) and all travel to Hashima was and still is currently prohibited. However, since January this year, there has been some restoration work on the island and it is expected that some parts of the island will be opened to the public in mid 2008.

Links: Yuji Saiga's gallery one, two | article at Japan Sugoi - Thanks Ryan!


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It's sad, but probably not that uncommon. My grandmother grew up in a mining town in British Columbia, and when the mine closed, the community basically disappeared.
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