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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Like Bond films? You might like to visit the derelict island from Skyfall

Hashima, off Japan, is full of ghostly skeletal buildings from its heyday as a mining town where 5,000 people once lived.

FEW PEOPLE CARED about the derelict Japanese island of Hashima until 2012, when its crumbling piers and abandoned apartment buildings were used as a backdrop for the secret island in the James Bond movie Skyfall.

(Chances are you’ll have spotted it on the festive TV schedules at some point this year.)

Now one photographer, Kevin Dooley, has returned to document the rest of it. Hashima was first occupied because it produced coal. The Mitsubishi Group bought the island in 1890 to use it as a base for coal extraction from the sea.

Dooley used Google Street View to find and capture some of the most enchanting parts of the old factory. It gives everyone a chance to tour where more than 5,000 people once lived and worked.

This is what Bond villain Raoul Silva’s island looked like in Skyfall:


Bond and Severine are brought to the island to be killed by Silva:


The movie used exterior scenes of the island as a backdrop:

But the action wasn’t filmed there – it was meshed together with CGI:

This is the real island you can see today on Google:

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

It was first populated in 1887.


Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

Factory buildings like this one were vital to production during the industrialisation of Japan.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

Japan’s first large concrete building was built on Hashima. It stood at nine stories tall.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

Hashima, and its multitude of apartment blocks, is entirely surrounded by a sea wall – just visible on the right of this image:

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

When petroleum started to replace coal in the 1960s, coal mines on Hashima started closing down.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

The island was abandoned in 1974.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr Kevin Dooley / Flickr / Flickr

- Joshua Barrie

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