Hashima is a very small island that will offer you some breath-taking views of abandoned buildings. You can see what time and nature did to them, it is pretty intriguing. This island is also called Gunkanjima which means the Battleship Island; because of its shape. The island was long ago used as a huge undersea coal mine, however, the mine closed in 1974 and all the residents left the island as the coal was replaced by the petroleum.
As a matter of fact, in the early 60s the island reached its peak of more than 5,250 residents on 6.3 hectares of the land. It made the island famous for having the highest population density.
The stunning view of the abandoned city has inspired many film producers, in fact, you might have seen this island is in Skyfall, the James Bond movie! Yes, indeed, from the scene when the 007 agent got captured by the villains! Not only that; it has also inspired Christopher Nolan when making Inception. Several French movies and American documentaries used the location as well.
A scene from Inception inspired by the Gunkanjima Island
As a matter of fact, Google had sent its team to develop the street’s photo view of the small island. So if you use Google Earth you can take a peek at the stunning views!
It is quite easy to go to Hashima Island because it is only about 20 km from Nagasaki. When coming from Nagasaki Station, you can easily take the street tram to Tokiwa Terminal where you can take a cruise to the island. For more access information, check here.
The complete cruise/tour takes about three hours – two hours around the island and about an hour on the island itself. The visit is guided and people don’t usually get too close to the buildings in order to avoid accidents caused by the high risk of collapsing. You can book the tour in advance and we strongly recommend doing so if you decide to visit the island on a weekend or on a public holiday! It costs approximately ¥4,000.
Please note that in order to visit Hashima, you need to join an official tour conducted by a licensed company.