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Hashima Battleship Island

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Hashima Battleship Island


A World Heritage Site off the coast of Nagasaki

Nagasaki International Tourism and Convention Association




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 looks like a battleship, earning it the nickname Gunkanjima (lit ‘Battleship Island’). In July of 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 structural instable; for your own safety it is mandatory to visit as part of a registered tour. Trips to the island may be cancelled due to bad weather, so it is best to avoid visiting during winter, the rainy season and the typhoon season.


How to get there


About 40 minutes from Nagasaki Port by Gunkanjima tour boat.



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