All Images © Michael Gakuran
“Gunkanjima, or ‘Battleship Island’ in English, is the nickname for a tiny deserted island off the coast of Japan. Once used to mine coal, at its peak it had a thriving community and one of the largest population densities the world has ever seen. Nowadays it lies in ruins and visiting the island is strictly forbidden except via the designated tour routes which, unfortunately, do not allow travellers to explore deep inside.
I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow urban explorer who took me to the island in secret. We only had a few short hours of time to photograph the place, but I was overwhelmed by the mysterious beauty in the decaying concrete buildings and the curious objects left behind by the residents who were forced to leave their homes there some 30 years ago.”-Michael Gakuran
Michael Gakuran lives and works in Japan. To view more of his work and learn more about his exploration on Battleship Island click here.