Until 1974, when it was abandoned, the remote isle housed some 5000 people, mostly coal miners and their families, when the Japanese government took steps to break away with the outdated form of energy production as petroleum replaced it. Disposed of and uninhabited, the island is fighting a losing battle with nature, keen to reclaim its former domain.
Too dangerous for stray civilians to explore, the Japanese government opened the site as a tourist attraction in 2009. With many areas off limits, Google Japan employees apparently found a way to forgo the strict discipline of supervised visiting groups. They were, therefore, able to freely roam the remnants of the town and lived to show you the story thanks to Google's wearable Trekker camera.
Enough talk, we now invite you to glimpse through the gallery below and if it sparks your interest – make sure to take a look at the 'making-of' video underneath.