Nagasaki

Now you can take a virtual 3-D tour of Gunkanjima, Japan’s “ghost island” 【Video】

Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima, “Battleship Island,”  is an uninhabited island off the coast of Nagasaki which James Bond fans may recognise as the spooky deserted island of bad guy Silva in Skyfall. Access to Hashima, which has been abandoned since the 1970s, is highly restricted – tours do run to the island, but visitors are only permitted to access certain viewing points, and are not allowed anywhere near the crumbling buildings for safety reasons.

But now that researchers from Nagasaki University have created a stunning digital 3-D model of the entire island, you can explore the area from the comfort of your own armchair! The team used camera drones and laser scanners to capture 28,000 images of the site, splicing them together to render the island, and you can check out the results below!

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Japan Bucket List II: 8 places you need to visit to really understand Japan

We at RocketNews24 believe that to truly understand a country’s people you need to know something about their history and where they came from. So following last week’s popular Japan Bucket List: Things you need to do to really understand Japan, this week we offer you eight places that contributed greatly to the development of Japan, its culture, and people.

Get ready to take your understanding of the Japanese people a step further with eight historical places that have helped shaped them into the people they are today. Let’s go!

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Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

Whoever said that Niigata Prefecture is home the most beautiful women in Japan may need to think again. For the second year in the row, the Japanese representative for the Miss Universe competition hails from Nagasaki, with last year’s crown holder being Keiko Tsuji. As cool as that is, the real story of the year is that the 2015 representative, Ariana Miyamoto, is half Japanese.

It’s no surprise that Western features are considered beautiful in Japan. Heck, some women are actively seeking a foreign partner in order to produce absolutely adorable “haafu” (half-Japanese) babies. Sometimes, due to their alluring features, haafu are not always treated the same, or even as Japanese, as their native peers. Miss Nagasaki faced her fair share of race-related challenges too and although some people are against her acting as a representative for Japan due to her mixed heritage, she is also receiving a lot of support.

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Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】

Apparently they really know how to treat their rodents and entertain their patrons down in Kyushu. The other day we mentioned Nagasaki Bio Park, spotlighting their hot spring for capybara. Now, a Vine video has surfaced, taking us to the guinea pig area at the same zoo. The little critters get to “commute” from one play area to the other in an adorable single file line.

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Twitter user captures raccoon doing a funny “feed me!” dance at Nagasaki Zoo

One lucky visitor to a zoo in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan was treated to quite the show when she witnessed a raccoon standing on its hind legs and doing a little dance in anticipation of its next meal. Luckily for us, she was able to share pictures of the spectacle over a short series of tweets, one of which has been retweeted over 11,000 times in the last two days! Keep reading for your daily fix of cuteness.

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These wacky traditional dancers know how to put the fun in fundoshi! 【Video】

Here at RocketNews24 there’s nothing we like more on a man (or indeed a woman) than a dashing fundoshi. While we believe the traditional Japanese underwear that’s part-apron, part-loincloth is suitable for any occasion, we’re prepared to accept that they’re mainly seen at matsuri (festivals) these days.

So when we found this wondrous video of a group of men doing a special festival bird-catching dance in fundoshi, we knew we were in for a treat. Join us after the jump for some very genki dancing men having a lot of body-slappin’ good fun!

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Eerie photos of abandoned prison in Nagasaki look straight out of a video game

The online resurgence of photos of a former Meiji era prison in Nagasaki have citizens buzzing in fascinated awe at its haunted, surreal atmosphere. With its dilapidated rooms and caved-in ceilings, the scenery could very well have served as the inspiration for several video games such as Resident Evil or Silent Hill. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if a horde of zombies actually did call this place home.

Although the building has been partially dismantled over the last several years, you can still experience the former scenery of these ruins through photographs taken just prior to the start of its demolition in 2007. Join us after the jump for a look at some of these rare photos – the creepiness level is over 9000! 

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Were Syria’s use of chemical weapons and the dropping of the A-bomb the same violation of international law?

On August 21, it was confirmed that chemical weapons were used on civilians in Syria, and it is speculated that the country’s own president, Bashar al Assad, is behind the attacks. The news has sent shockwaves around the world, with US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf commenting, “I think that it’s clear that Syria violated international law here. They used chemical weapons in an indiscriminate manner with respect to civilians.”

Many agree with Ms. Harf’s words, but it is a question that was posed by a Reuters journalist, likening Syria’s actions to that of the United States’ use of atomic weapons during WWII, that has many people in Japan talking.

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Battleship Island: Five Reasons Why More Movie Villains Should Live Here

Hashima Island, better known as Gunkanjima (lit. Battleship Island) due to its warship-like silhouette, is a small island off the coast of Nagasaki with a remarkable history. Owned by Mitsubishi as a coal mining facility from 1887 to 1974, this was once the most densely populated place on the planet, with more than 5,000 inhabitants crammed into its 6 square-kilometre dimensions. Now, the place is deserted and all that’s left of the once-bustling metropolis is an eerie landscape of crumbling, grey buildings.

When the Bond villain Raoul Silva chose the island as his secret lair in the latest 007 movie Skyfall, Gunkanjima received worldwide attention. But did Bond’s nemesis know that the island is home to Japan’s first-ever multi-storey concrete reinforced apartment block? We visited the island and checked out areas off-limits to the public to find out more about what makes this the perfect villain’s lair. Take the full virtual tour and see our photos after the jump.

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