On This Terrifying Post Apocalyptic Island Everyone Wears Gas Masks
The Japanese island of Miyakejima is host to a bizarre form of tourism. Despite the toxic sulfur dioxide levels being dangerously high, and the Japanese government ordering mass evacuation, the island is home to a small group of residents – and tourists who want a taste of post apocalyptic life.
In 2000, a mass evacuation was instituted due to extremely high levels of toxic gas in the area after a series of eruptions from Mount Oyama, the main volcano on the island. For over five years, the area was thrown into an apocalypse on fast forward, with trees rotting and structures rusting die to the continued eruptions.
In 2005, roughly 2,800 residents chose to repopulate the island, taking back the island’s abandoned buildings. However, much of their time spent on the island is forced to be behind gas masks. The result is some of the eeriest wedding pictures ever taken.
Gas mask tourism is a huge draw for the region, with disposable masks sold at ferry stations and local stores. Visitors can also take tours of abandoned houses, flattened cars and a school gym half-destroyed by lava, as well as hot spring baths.