Hashima Island (Gunkanjima) – Visit 007 Skyfall Film Ground Abandoned Battleship Island | FAST JAPAN
Gunkanjima
Nagasaki

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima) – Visit 007 Skyfall Film Ground Abandoned Battleship Island

Did you know that there is a complete abandoned island in the South of Japan, as part of Nagasaki prefecture? Since an official shut-down in 1974, Gunkanjima (Hashima Island) which was once the fuel for Japanese industrial development is now totally uninhabited ruins.

Did you know that there is a complete abandoned island in the South of Japan, as part of Nagasaki prefecture? Since an official shut-down in 1974, the island which was once the fuel for Japanese industrial development is now totally uninhabited ruins, almost painfully telling us the truth of “nothing stays the same”.

 

So what is this ‘Battleship’ island?

Gunkanjima

The Japanese island with a mystifying atmosphere is known as Gunkanjima – the ‘battleship’ island. Its official name is Hashima-island and you can find it about 19 km offshore from the Nagasaki Harbour. The reason why it is named battleship is simply because of its distinctive shape. Indeed the floating battleship-shaped island will greet you as you cruise for about half an hour.

 

Why abandoned…?

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima Island)

Nobody lives on the island today, and you can only see the shadow of the ruins of what the island was once flourished from; a coal mining. In the late 19th century, several decades after the coal mines were discovered on the land, the giant investment started to dig the coals for the nation’s power and it boosted a massive flow of labours into the island.

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima Island)
Photo Credit: battleshipisland.jp

The land area continued to expand by landfills to 6 times bigger than the initial size. At its peak time, it was recorded that the population density was higher than today’s Tokyo. However, in the 1960s, when the energy source started to be replaced by oil, the coal industry came to an end. After the mine closed, the island has been non-entry for over 40 years.

 

You can be a James Bond

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima Island)
Photo Credit: 007.com

In 2009, however, the government lifted the ban on entry, and today anybody can tour some selected sites to experience the Japanese legacy of industrialisation. It probably became more known to people outside Japan when the island was featured in James Bond film Skyfall (2012) as the hidden headquarters of Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem. Listed as one of the 23 World Heritage sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution by UNESCO in 2015, it would be worth visiting the impressively cement-coated island once had everything. The scars of economic decline might make you nostalgic.

 

What can I see, for example?

Gunkanjima
Photo Credit: battleshipisland.jp

Typically, you will get to see following parts of the island once you land;

First, the giant residential complex, Hashima primary and secondary schools, and other accommodations for the mine workers. The schools were built in 1958, but the scale was nothing like normal schools in the main land as it had 7 floors with lifts. You will see walls of buildings are collapsed as if small bombs hit on them. But there has not been any kinds of deconstruction processes. They were ruined purely by the power of nature. You will see what would happen to any flourished place if they were completely abandoned even it’s only for half a decade.

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima Island)

Second, you can visit what used to be the main administrative reception of the mining operation as well as the pier to the entrances of the mines. Within the reception building, there was a large scale public bath where miners soaked their exhausted black bodies into.

Gunkanjima
Photo Credit: battleshipisland.jp

Third, the oldest residential apartments currently exist in Japan that used a reinforced concrete structure. With the ever growing population in the island, leisure facilities for children and families were everywhere in the neighborhood of those residents. Now they are only the chunk of concrete where air just goes through the spaces without any signs of life.

[map lat=”32.627835″ lng=”129.738588″][/map]

 

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima Island)

Address: Takashimamachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Access: 30 to 60 minutes ferry ride from Nagasaki ferry terminals

Website: Battleship Island

 

Take a tour

Gunkanjima
Photo Credit: dutruong.t733@flickr

Although the access to the island became publicaly available, you cannot visit there on your own. There are various reasons, but it is mainly for the health and safety, as you may easily hurt yourself by going into the ruins recklessly. Instead, there are tour companies which can take you to the island by ferry and show you around the accessible areas. Two of the tour companies have English websites where you can see the details.

[map lat=”32.745628″ lng=”129.868452″][/map]

 

Gunkanjima Landing & Cruise

Address: Nagasaki Port Terminal, 17 Motofunamachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Access: 10 minutes walk from Nagasaki Station

Fee:
4,200 Yen (Adults, Junior high & High School Students)
2,100 Yen (Primary School Students)

Phone: 095-822-5002

Website: Gunkanjima Landing & Cruise

 

[map lat=”32.737863″ lng=”129.869985″][/map]

 

The Gunkanjima Concierge Company

Address: 1-60 Tokiwamachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Access: Walking distance from Ourakaigandori Street Tram Station

Fee:
4,000 Yen (Adults)
3,300 Yen (Junior high & High School Students)
2,000 Yen (Primary School Students)

Phone: 095-895-9300

Website: The Gunkanjima Concierge Company

 

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