Battleship Island

Gunkanjima, Hashima Island, Nagasaki, Japan.

Gunkanjima could have been the ultimate urbex dream location if it were not for its strict access regulations.

Well, the abandoned island is easy to reach by guided tours from Nagasaki port. As a tourist you are, however, confined to no more than a few hundred meters of fenced walkways, which were built when the island was opened for tourism in 2009.

Full Reopening Unlikely

A full reopening would require a substantial investment in restoration and safety, so it is rather unlikely. As Gunkanjima has not been maintained for several decades, its structures are prone to collapse anytime. In order to prevent further damage, some areas were reinforced with concrete already.

Gunkanjima’s warship-like shape, that gave it its name Battleship Island (literally for Gunkanjima), dates back to the days when it served as an undersea coal mine. In its heyday, it was home to more than 5,000 miners, making it the world’s most densely populated place. In the 70s, its coal reserves were coming near depletion. As a result, the mine was closed and Hashima Island, as it is officially called, vacated by all its residents.

Peek Into the Buildings

With its street view technology, Google provides extensive coverage of the place. It lets you peek into the buildings, even showing remains of the island’s former residents such as tube TVs or discarded soda bottles. 

Battleship Island Gunkanjima, Nagasaki, Japan.

Battleship Island Gunkanjima from Boat, Nagasaki, Japan.

Gunkanjima, Hashima Island, Nagasaki, Japan.