A ghost town that the Japanese government banned from visiting (13 photos)

16 April 2024

How the most densely populated place on the planet turned into ruins.

In the 20th century, it was the most densely populated place on our planet. Now it has turned into what you see in the photograph. Let's take a look at the history of this curious island.

Hashima Island is located off the coast of Japan. The locals nicknamed it “Cruiser” because it really is shaped like a warship.

For many years it was an uninhabited island known to fishermen - they made a halt here. It was a comfortable, quiet place where we could wait out the bad weather and take a break.

But in the 19th century, coal deposits were found here. And large-scale construction began on the island. Deep mines were built - 600 meters below sea level.

In order not to transport products far away, but to work directly on site, military factories were built on the island.

Industrial enterprises on the island belonged to the Mitsubishi company. And they had to resolve the issue with personnel. It was expensive to transport so many people 15 kilometers from Nagasaki. Therefore, we decided to build housing right here.

The area of the island is a modest 6.3 hectares. The entire island can be walked around in just 20 minutes.

But it really looks like a ship

Only 60% of the island was subject to development, the rest of the territory was an inconvenient rock. And here they managed to squeeze in a mine, military factories, several dozen residential buildings and 25 shops. The island housed about 6,000 people.

Infrastructure was needed - a school, a kindergarten, two swimming pools, two hospitals and a cemetery were added.

Has the density reached a fantastic figure of 139,100 people per km?

In crowded but not mad

For comparison, Tokyo is now the most densely populated city. There is no crowding there, the transport is jam-packed during rush hours. People are forced to huddle in small rooms with one wardrobe and a bed, which proudly bear the name “apartment”.

And in Tokyo the population density is 4,300 people per km?. That is 35 times less. Moscow, which many consider too densely populated, barely finishes the top 20 cities with an indicator of 2.6 thousand people.

People on Hasim lived in tiny apartments in tall concrete buildings. This was the only type of structure that could withstand severe sea storms.

The island was so isolated that residents could only leave with special permission. Hashima's children went to school right on the island, and the only entertainment for adults was a cinema and bowling alley. Drinking water was delivered to the island from the mainland, since there were no sources of fresh water here.

In 1974, coal reserves finally dried up. And people began to leave here. Within a few years, Hashima turned into a ghost town.

The government thought for a long time about how to use the now forgotten island with the city. They wanted to build a miners' museum here, but the mines had already fallen into disrepair and their restoration would require huge investments.

Ultra-dense development

The Japanese government has imposed a strict ban on visiting the island. If the Japanese visited the island, they were deported from the country and deprived of citizenship.

The government explained this by regular vandalism - people came here to get memorable items for resale. Groups of “black diggers” were regularly organized. But it is not safe to walk here - the buildings are in disrepair. Plus, after all, there was a closed production of military products here.

Hashima Island appeared in James Bond - "007: Skyfall". But this is rather an exception to the rule

Now the ban has weakened somewhat, exceptions have been made. Tourists are brought here in strictly controlled groups. They almost never go into the houses, as they are about to collapse.

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