(端島, meaning "Border Island")
also known as Gunkanjima
(軍艦島, meaning "Battleship Island")
Location : 15 km from Nagasaki, in the sea
Prefecture : Nagasaki-ken
Access : Travel to Hashima is prohibited, although some curious visitors managed to land there from a boat.
View : Check this link
for a large satellite view of the island
I have never been on this tiny island, but heard a lot about it... While this is not the usual way of writing guides on this forum, and because the island is officially closed to visitors, I made a compilation here of the information I found on the web...
Hashima is one of the 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture, located about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself.
Basically, this 400 by 140 meters large island was bought by Mitsubishi in 1890, aiming at extracting coal from the island and surrounding sea. The first large concrete building of Japan were built there, and the island had one of the highest population density ever measured on earth, when more than 5000 persons lived there in 1959 (835 people per hectare for the whole island, and even 1391 people per hectare for the residential area)! In 1974, the coal mine was closed, and the island was progressively abandoned. Today, the island is empty - which also granted her the name of Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima is prohibited, as the remaining constructions are slowly collapsing and are a potential thread. The island's most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it. Some movies were shot there, including Battle Royale II: Requiem.
Check this documentary
on myspacetv.com, with English subtitles.
- Fascinating black and white pictures
City of the future ?!
- Some other fantastic - almost magical - black and white pictures
- A good selection of pictures, as well as a comprehensive map of the island and chronological information
Pictures from Wikipedia
What is "haikyo" (廃墟)?
Hashima is the favorite spot of people interested in haikyo. Meaning "ruins", this term historically applied to the bombed-out structure left after air raids during the WWII. But nowadays, there is a fashion, especially among younger people, to visit ruins of buildings, hotels, amusement parks or anything that can be linked to a not-so-old past.
Some links related to haikyo :
Shinichiro Kobayashi has a web site
with an easy to use interactive map to located many interesting structures all around the country; mostly pictures only. Ruin-japan is a blog
with pictures and text, but is less easy to navigate is you can not read Japanese. Finally, Hai Monchrome
's site has also lots of pictures sorted by area.
Another excellent site is the one from Michael John Grist
, with many pictures and descriptions from this 29-year old freelance photographe living in Tokyo.