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Where Was The Abandoned Island In Skyfall Filmed?
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Where Was the Abandoned Island In Skyfall Filmed?

When I watched Skyfall last week, the first time I saw that abandoned island used as a fortress by the villain Raoul Silva, I immediately thought "Wow, where is that?". I wasn't sure if it was real or just a set, it looked like something from Mad Max, but the level of detail on the island suggested to me it was quite possibly real. The previous scene had taken place in Macau, and this island was littered with Chinese writing, so I did some research to see if it was real and if it would be possible for me to visit it.

It is indeed real, but it is not a Chinese island. It is Hashima Island, off the coast of Japan, near Nagasaki. Hashima Island is indeed abandoned, but was populated between 1887 and 1974 as a coal mining facility and was owned by Mitsubishi. When the coal mining industry started to dwindle and coal mines were being closed up and down the country, Hashima too was closed and residents/workers left the island. It has been abandoned ever since and only in 2005 was access opened up to journalists and since 2009 small sections of the island are available for tourist visits.

It has been nicknamed Battle Ship island (Gunkanjima) for its resemblance to the Japanese WWII warship Tosa. In fact it resembles that ship so much that it was torpedoes by the American Navy. The resemblance comes from the concrete Sea Wall and concrete buildings, which were built in that manner to help the island withstand typhoons. As the growing workforce on the island expanded, more housing complex's were constructed until the entire island looked like one big fortress or housing complex.

Often when a big movie uses a location in a move, that location becomes very popular with both tourism and future film crews, so this could spark a renewed interest in the island as a tourist destination and maybe even lead to some restoration projects, who knows. Will Skyfall do to Hashima what Schindler's List did to Krakow? Certainly right now Hashima wouldn't necessarily find its way onto a list of common locations for films, but in the future this could change. I suppose there are limited options for scenes set on this island, maybe a good old prison escape movie or another action/sci-fi movie would be good. Apocalyptic themes anyone?

I do enjoy researching where movies were made, I think it helps me learn more about the world and maybe even lead to a few holiday destinations in the future...although I don't think a trip to hashima is going to be high up the list.


Street Talk

Fascinating, how cool to see!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
PCRoger  

If Barbara and Michael would hire me as a consultant for the film - like they should - then I would already know the answer to these questions!!!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Maybe they will read your comment and take note!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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