For almost 100 years the coal mines on Hashima Island off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture played an important role in the development and history of Japan. Nicknamed Gunkanjima or “Battleship Island” because of the buildings on the island, the seawall protecting it and the fact that is wasn’t much larger than a football field at about 400 by 140 metres.
Hashima Island from the Air
In 1916 the largest concrete structures in all of Japan were built on Hashima Island to help protect it’s inhabitants from typhoons and at it’s peak in 1959 the population was over 5000 or 1,391 people per 10,000 square metres the highest population density ever recorded in the world. Please take the time to have a look at an awesome documentary video I have embedded below that tells the history of Gunkanjima from someone who grew up there as a child. The old pictures, music, mood and commentary makes you feel like you are almost there.
A trip to this island would make an amazing out of the box location to visit if/when I eventually make it to Japan, I wonder if I’d survive the trip by boast to get there though. Would you want to visit Battleship Island?
Kirk is a proud Jamaican who started Jamaipanese.com in February 2006 and now lives in rural Japan. He enjoys sharing his experiences learning about Japan, personal milestones in life as well as interests such as photography, gaming and travelling.