Nicknamed Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, because of its shape, Hashima island has an eerie, sinister look, perfect for, say, a villain's lair in an action movie.
The inspiration for villain Raoul Silva's deserted hideout in the James Bond movie "Skyfall," the island figures in one of the most dramatic shots of the film.
Its industrial ruins loom slowly into view as Bond and yet another ill-fated Bond girl speed toward the island in a luxury boat.
In real life, a trip to the island is less dramatic.
In 2009, tour operators began offering trips from Nagasaki to Hashima.
A standard trip entails a 40-minute boat ride and then an hour on the island, depending on weather conditions -- often the weather is so poor that boats don't even try to land.
Those hoping to pick their way through the rubble in Bond's footsteps, or take a photo at building number 65, where Bond babe Severine meets a gruesome end, will be disappointed.
The tourist route is a clearly defined path skirting just a quarter of the island.
While there's a good view of the ruins, visitors can't get anywhere close.
For that they need special permission from the Nagasaki City Council, and a compelling reason for going inside.
There's a simple explanation for all the security -- the ruins are extremely dangerous.
Boom and bust history
For almost 100 years, Hashima was a mining facility run by corporate giant Mitsubishi.
The mining community was housed in some of Japan's and the world's earliest concrete high-rises.
On this tiny 16-acre plot of land, high-rises were the best option for housing.
By 1959, the island was one of the most densely populated places on earth, with 5,259 people living on just 18 acres.
But by 1974, gas had replaced coal as Japan's major fuel source, Mitsubishi pulled out of the island, workers found jobs elsewhere and Hashima was left to rot.
According to the Nagasaki City Council, location scouts from Skyfall's production team spent several days on the island but decided it was too dangerous to film there.
Instead, sets duplicating Hashima's eerie wreckage were built in Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom.
Security for visitors
Visitors who are given permission must wear hard hats and have an escort from Nagasaki's city council.
Additional caution is necessary -- balconies and railings are long gone and a wrong turn up the "stairway to hell" to the rooftop can lead the unwary visitor to narrow pathways between buildings with perilous drops on either side.
Those who think they remember the way down from a climb to the top of the structure -- a small, wind-blown shrine remains there -- can find themselves in rooms with gaping holes in the floorboards and sheer drops to floors below.
Although Hashima was by no means abandoned overnight, it feels as though it might have been.