BEAUTY OF JAPAN

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Visit Gunkanjima island, the Battleship island, in Nagasaki

2017.09.12

Introduction

What is Gunkanjima?
“Gunkanjima” is known as the “Battleship island” located in Nagasaki prefecture.
The shape of the island resembles a Japanese battleship.
Here, you can observe the crumbling aftermath of heavy modernisation during industrialisation in Japan.
Coal was once plentiful in this island, and many mining facilities were established during the Showa period, most notably Mitsubishi Corporation.

Coal production sustained Japan’s economy for years, as corporations sent more and more workers and their families over to the island.
Both the mining facilities and settlement in this small 15-acre island increasingly grew and became so densely packed as families were forced in very narrow settlements.
There were 5,259 people living on the island in 1959, exceeding the population density of Tokyo by 9 times!
The ruins of modernist architecture at that time is really fascinating to observe, such as the uniform and rational high-rise apartment blocks that were left to rot one after another, and the towering concrete sea wall that surrounded the island.
These high-rise buildings and the surrounding sea wall resembled a Japanese battleship called “Tosa”, which is why the island has the nickname Battleship island.
In addition to the residencies, many urban facilities were also built such as movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals, and entertainment venues.

However, petroleum eventually replaced coal in supplying the country’s energy needs, and the coal industry abruptly came to halt in 1974.
Many workers and inhabitants quickly abandoned the island, often leaving their possessions behind, thus you can see some material goods and artefacts that were left over in the buildings. One can really feel the mysterious atmosphere and sense the feeling of entrapment by looking at the crumbling ruins of the strangely identical architecture.
You are able to look back through time at this mysterious island which once served to represent modernisation and growth in Japan but at the same time introduced new restrictive and disciplinary behaviour influenced by infrastructural forms.

What is unique about this island is that it has been untouched for decades, leaving innate processes in nature to take over the concrete architecture, creating a juxtaposition of nature and artificial structures.
This is indeed both beautiful and peculiar in many ways. In recent years, many films have been filmed on this island, such as Skyfall James Bond, as well as the popular anime series Attack on Titan.
There has been an increasing number of visitors too now that the island restriction ban has been lifted.
It is now also recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site as a “Meiji Industrial Revolution Site”.

Tour Detail

Tour Style

Join-in tour
In the cruise, there is no reservation seat

Pricing per person

Adult (18-): 5,700 yen
Youth (12-17): 4,800 yen
Child (0-11): 2,900 yen

Meeting time

Morning cruise: 9:40AM
Afternoon cruise: 12:50PM

Group Size

Min. 1 person
Max. 199 persons

Duration

Approx. 3 hours

Destination

Meeting point

Tokiwasanbashi
Address: 1-60 Tokiwamachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 850-0843

Tour Itinerary

- Meet with staff at the meeting point
- Cruise to the Gunkanjima island
- Landing
- Return

What's Included

- Addmission fee to Gunkanjima island
- Cruise fare
- Local assistance

What's not Included

- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Food and beverages

Tour Tips

Booking process
1. Please contact us for availability through ‘BOOK IT’ button below.
2. We will check the availability and come back to you within 1 business day.
3. Payment request will be sent via Paypal.
4. Reservation is done upon receiving your payment. Confirmation e-mail will be sent to you.

Payment
- Fees shall be paid through Paypal. Currently no other payment method is accepted.

Cancellation Policy
Reservations may be cancelled without charge up to 15 days prior to the program date.
Reservations cancelled less than 14 days before the program date will incur the following charges:
- Between 14 days and 8 days: 20% of the program charge

- Between 7 days and 2 days: 30% of the program charge

- The day before the date of travel: 50% of the program charge
- Less than a day or no show: 100% of the program charge

 *Time is in JST.
Important note: If the whether condition were bad, we cannot land, but admission fee will not be refunded to you.
They will give you a novelty instead.