The mining operation was finally closed down in the 1970s and all that remains now are the crumbling buildings and spooky tales of the hardship people endured there. There are still those with fond memories of the place though, including the stories brought to life by Doutoku Sakamoto, the man fighting to recognise the island as a world heritage site. Special thanks to Totoro Times for the great articles and photos from their exploration of the island.
The island reopened in 2009 to allow tourists to visit the island, but restricted to a small walkway for safety reasons. Several tour companies offer a boat ride to the island from Nagasaki Port when the weather if safe enough to venture out there.
A google maps employee was given a chance to navigate the island and the images collected were used in the creation of this great (and super eerie) website.
I can't wait to have the chance to visit. If you have been there or plan to go, please write a comment below.