Series—Japan’s World Heritage Site: Gunkanjima (Battleship Island)

2017.01.17

Commonly called “Gunkanjima” (Battleship Island), the island listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 as part of “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining,” is actually “Hashima Island,” located in Nagasaki, Kyushu. Here, we introduce tourist attractions related to this island.

History and values of Gunkanjima


Gunkanjima (Hashima Island) is an island that supported Japan’s industrial modernization for 104 years by supplying fuel in the form of coal mining, which started in 1870. Approximately 160 meters in width and 480 meters in length, the island was said to be the world’s most densely populated place when the population peaked at over 5,000 people. With numerous high-rise apartments constructed, the island resembled a “battleship,” and eventually became known as “Gunkanjima” (gunkan=battleship, jima=island).


The island fully functioned as a city, prospering with markets, movie theaters, hospitals, etc. But when the mine closed, all the residents had to leave Gunkanjima, and the island became desolated. Daily commodities have been left behind in the apartments, and the whole island became valuable material for us to catch a glimpse of how people lived during the Meiji to Showa period.

Gunkanjima Museum


This museum has a substantial number of exhibition panels that show us the community lives and coal mining work of the people of Gunkanjima. You can also watch videos on a 4K screen, which is certainly worth it.


●Gunkanjima Museum
●095-893-1651 ●562-1, Nomomachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture
http://www.at-nagasaki.jp/gunkan/museum/
http://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/47/
●9:00-17:00 ●open year-round except for December 29-January 3
●Adult: 200 yen, primary and junior high student: 100 yen

<Gunkanjima tours>
Various cruising and landing tours are available departing from each harbor. As not open for private visitors, you must join group tours in order to visit the island. You must also sign a written oath and follow required procedure. We have selected 2 tours. For further information and reservation, please log on to each web site.
*Additional cost of 300 yen per person is required for landing access in each tour
*Depending on the weather, departing and landing may be cancelled

Gunkanjima Concierge


Detailed lectures and guided tours by former residents of Gunkanjima allow you to fully enjoy your visit. You may also go to the Digital Museum with an extra charge to see the views of hustle and bustle of town in those days, or off-limit areas by projection mapping.


●The Gunkanjima Concierge Company
●095-895-9300 ●1-60, Tokiwamachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture
http://www.gunkanjima-concierge.com/en/access/index.html
●Tours start at 10:30 and 13:40
●Gunkanjima Digital Museum: 9:00-18:00 (last admission 17:30) ●No fixed holidays
●Adult: 4,000 yen / Gunkanjima Digital Museum admission: 1,800 yen, Tour participants 900 yen

Gunkanjima Landing & Cruise


Touring by the ship that firstly cruised to Gunkanjima after removing the ban on landing on the island. On the way to the island and after landing, local guides will tell you detailed stories on history and old remains on the island.


●Gunkanjima Landing and Cruise
●095-822-5002 ●Nagasaki Port Terminal 1F Window #7 17-3, Motofunamachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture
http://www.gunkan-jima.net/en/
●Departs: 9:00 and 13:00
●No fixed holidays ●Adult: 4,200 yen

*The above information was last updated December 7, 2016. For further details, please contact the facilities directly.

"Like" if you think this article is interesting

New Information Column

Read more columns