Battleship Island

The mist rolls in and the clouds dip below the hills, leaving a wispy 'comb-over' look to the port and town of Nagasaki.
A greyness tints a city for the first time on our trip – but it seems a fitting veneer for the industrial, still honest but 'rough round the edges' vibe Nagasaki has. Of course its infamy is based on the second and last atomic bomb to be dropped in human history; but the backstory of the port is far richer and deeper than that. It was once the only trading post in the then closed-off Japan; the Dutch, Chinese and British all arrived, and while they didn't live alongside the Japanese, they did bring skills that benefited the city and the rest of the country (ideas ranging from the industrial revolution and the less-well-received-at-the-time Protestant and Catholic faiths).

We took a ferry to Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) made famous by James Bond in Skyfall, although the actual scenes were filmed on a set. In reality it is a small Island that was used for mining, a community was built on the island for the miners and their families, resulting in the rather odd brutalist concrete warren of buildings that from a certain angle resemble a Japanese battleship.

When mining was no longer economically viable, the families were moved off and the island was left to rot, creating a time capsule of life in the early 70s complete with old TVs, clothes, shoes and crumbling concrete roofs. Sadly you don't get up close and personal to anything and are safely penned into safe areas. It's a Guardo Man's paradise!