Gunkanjima is a small island around 20km south of Nagasaki Port. Until 1974, the island was a coal mine with more than 5000 residents calling the small island home. This meant it had the highest population density in history! Take that Tokyo!
To fit so many people in such a tiny area, every piece of land was used and all buildings were built upwards so that the island came to look like a massive battleship. "Gunkanjima" is it's nickname. It means "battleship island" in Japanese. The island's actual name is Hashima.
In April 1974, the mine was closed, and its residents had to leave Gunkanjima, abandoning the island with all its buildings.
It's now an eerie modern day ruin with it's vast apartment complexes all empty and decaying. Definitely bring a camera to get some excellent shots.
It was also the inspiration for the abandoned island in the movie Skyfall.
To access the island you need to take a ferry tour from Nagasaki port ferry terminal. Several companies run tours and they usually require reservations. The link below is for one such company.
Battleship Island (Gunkanjima)
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