A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island," or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours. Last year, Google trekker walked the island, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment called Hashima Island: Forgotten World, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
Excuse Us While We Kiss The Sky. [Single page view] "By day they work as computer programmers and stock boys and academics. But at night they are known as urban explorers. The Brooklyn Bridge, London's Shard, Notre Dame—each structure is an expedition waiting to happen. Each sewer, each scaffold, each off-limits site is a puzzle to solve. No wonder the cops are after them. Matthew Power embeds with the space invaders and sees a world—above- and belowground—that the rest of us never knew existed." [Via]
"Dude, we can TOTALLY ski through this abandoned building in Alaska!" [SLV]
Our aim is to examine [Paris's] connection to its underground in a way no one has before: we will attempt to walk from the southern edge to the northern, using only catacombs, telecom tunnels, sewers and other hidden infrastructure. It is a 14-mile trek, every step illegal.
Paris Catacombs. National Geographic's Neil Shea goes underground in Paris. Photography by Stephen Alvarez.
The Light-Painter of Mojave D: An Interview with Troy Paiva (previously) about his photography and his new book, Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. [Via BLDGBLOG]
Urban Exploring. Recently: Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta. Sinteranlage, Duisburg. Atomschutz Kurfürstendamm, Berlin (flash). (Previously.)
Untergunther, a chapter of the Parisian cultural guerilla organisation UX (most memorably responsible for setting up a secret theatre in the catacombs under the Seine in 2004), unveil their latest project - a clock-restoration workshop hidden in the Pantheon dome! The group's own report and pictures here.