Gunkanjima is a small island located about 18 km southwest of Nagasaki
The formal name is "Hashima".
"Gunkan" means "warship". In fact, this island looks like a warship
from a distance.
The shape of the island is similar to a aircraft carrier from the air.
The length is about 480 meters and the width is about 160 meters.
The whole coastline is surrounded with concrete embankments.
The island has a small rocky hill, but the ruin of modern buildings on the island is very impressive.
Originally, this island was a small rocky deserted island.
In 1810, coal was found in this island.
This island passed into ther possession of Mitsubishi company syndicate in 1890, and had been developed as a coal mine.
By the 1930s, the sea around the island were landfilled, and many modern apartment buildings were built on the site for the worker's family.
And schools, hospital, barber shops, Buddhist temple, movie theater and so on were set up, so this island became a complete city.
In 1960 at peak, more than 5,200 people lived in this island.
But since the 1960s, main energy had been shifted from coal to oil,
then this coal mine was closed in 1974.
The last 2,000 residents had left the island in the year, then this island returned a desert island.
So only many buildings remained.
The island was transferred from Mitsubishi to Nagasaki city in 2001.
Because the old buildings were dangerous, the landing to this island
had been forbidden for a long time.
Since 2009, a part of this island has been opened.
We can visit this island by pleasure boat from Nagasaki Port.
(But the landing tour requires advanced reservations. If the whether is bad, the tour may be cancelled.
Also, the tours only sailing around the island are operated.)
The tour starts at Nagasaki Port
Terminal. By street car with route No. 1, get off at Oohato stop.
The landing tour takes about 2 hour and 50 minutes, and the sailing tour takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Photo by artworks
Photo by artworks
Oura Catholic Church