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Hashima Battleship Island


©nagasaki prefecture tourism association  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Hashima Battleship Island


A World Heritage Site off the coast of Nagasaki

Nagasaki International Tourism and Convention Association


©nagasaki prefecture


Once the most densely populated place on Earth, the small island of Hashima has been deserted since 1974. From 1890, a thriving community lived on the island, extracting coal from an underwater mine near the island to provide fuel for Japan's growing shipbuilding industry. At its peak, the small island stretching just 160 meters east to west and 480 meters north to south, was home to over 5,000 people. When the coal ran out, the workers left, and the entire island became a ghost town.

While the island’s official name is Hashima, its silhouette resembles a battleship, earning it the nickname Gunkanjima (‘Battleship Island’). In July 2015, it was one of 23 locations registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the grouping “Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining.”

Board a tour boat in Nagasaki Port to visit this abandoned island. You cannot visit Gunkanjima alone. Buildings on the island are structurally unstable, so it is mandatory to visit as part of a registered tour for your own safety. Trips to the island may be canceled due to bad weather, so it is best to avoid visiting during winter, the rainy season and the typhoon season.


How to get there


Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Hakata Station to Nagasaki Station on the Nishi-Kyushu Shinkansen. (Limited express train from Hakata Station to Takeo Onsen Station.) Then approximately 40 minutes from Nagasaki Port by Gunkanjima tour boat.


Hashima, Takashima-cho, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken


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