The deserted island of Gunkanjima has the silhouette of a warship and is one of Nagasaki's most popular attractions. Actually, the island is called Hashima (border island). By coal mining starting 1810, the island was approximately doubled by landfills. In order to protect the accumulated land, a wall was built around the island. When Gunkanjima was still inhabited, there was a large chimney that blew black smoke into the air. This made the island look like a moving battleship. In 1960, 5,259 people lived on the island, exploiting the coal seams that lay diagonally under the sea. In doing so, tunnels up to 1,100 m deep were driven under the water. The coal production was stopped in 1974 and all workers left the island. Since then, the buildings are rotting and partially collapsed already. Landing on Gunkanjima is subject to strict safety regulations and is only carried out at good weather. We had the best weather ever and still could not get on to the island because a typhoon had damaged the jetty. You need good luck to get on the island.

From Nagasaki you can take boat trips to Gunkanjima. The tour takes depending on the provider 2-3 hours and costs about 3,500-4,000 yen (about 30 € in 2018) The tours are booked out at good weather quickly, in summer you should book about 2 weeks in advance. We took Gunkanjima Cruise but there are more providers from Nagasaki see link below.

Map of Gunkanjima


Travel Guide Nagasaki


How to get to Gunkanjima Island?

From Nagasaki there are various boat trips to the deserted island. The sea is often rough out here and even people who have little problems with seasickness had a very pale face afterwards.

If you do not want to travel to Gunkanjima, you can also go to the Gunkanjima Digital Museum in Nagasaki.

Matsugaemachi, 5


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