Ghost Towns

I seem to have been looking at a lot of ghost towns in the last few days…not sure why, but like their maritime counterparts shipwrecks and aircrashes there’s something haunting about them. I’ve even done my fair share of exploring ruins, usually of the more remote and open kind in the Highlands (there are a better set from the Western Isles but not finished editing them yet!).

Here’s someone taking a Google Maps trip around Namie near Fukushima (via Ian Fondue). You can explore for yourself, if you click on the links under the photos.

Some more amazing photos of Fukushima have come out recently, like Arkadiusz Podniesinski’s ones here, which look like something from The Walking Dead (yay it’s back!), but for real:

Arkadiusz Podniesinski - Fukushima

Fukushima has taken on the mantle of Pripyat, Chernobyl which is now coming up to it’s 4th decade of abandonment due to nuclear meltdown. Here’s photos from Michael Day of that town.

government-escort_2161219k Michael Day

I learned recently that the Japanese for these places is haikyo (ruins), and otherwise known as Urban Exploration or urbexing. One of the best sites for Japanese haikyo is Totoro Times. The bits about Gunkanjima, the deserted mining island that recently got UNESCO protection and was featured in Skyfall, are particularly good.

Gunkanjima is an abandoned island located in Nagasaki Prefecture. The island got famous because of his unbelievable appearance: surrounded by a sea wall, you will find an entire abandoned city with huge concrete buildings. The original name of the island is actually Hashima, but it is also called the Battleship Island (translation of Gunkanjima) or the Ghost Island. It appeared recently in the James Bond movie Skyfall and got even more famous. More info on

Some more photos from David de Rueda, first two abandoned Soviet-era Buran space shuttles at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, like something from James Bond. Secondly a wreck of a DC-3 in Iceland with the Northern Lights.

David de Rueda - Kazakhstan Two Soviet-era Buran space shuttles at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

 David de Rueda -  In a deserted area of Iceland’s south coast lies the wreck of a 1940s Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Another place that’s very evocative is the South Georgia Whaling Stations – yes back to wrecks again! I’m glad these aren’t running anymore, though. (Pic by C. Michel)


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