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11 modern-day ruins worth a visit

Hashima Island, Japan

Photo: Jordy Meow/Flickr

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Hashima Island, Japan

Commonly called Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island in English, Hashima is s small island in the Nagasaki area that once had a thriving coal mining industry. As coal was replaced as a power source in Japan, the island's mines were closed and the people who lived there left because there were no other opportunities. Hashima was densely populated and the high-rise residential buildings still stand today, giving visitors a real glimpse of what life was like in Japan in the 20th century. The island was only recently opened to the public, and there is a campaign to have it registered as a world heritage site.

In the meantime, the island recently enjoyed worldwide exposure in the 2012 James Bond movie "Skyfall."