How to Get Ikeshima Island and Where to Stay: Forgotten Coal Mine

How to Get Ikeshima Island and Where to Stay: Forgotten Coal Mine

Most of the apartments are empty Source : Wikipedia
Most of the apartments are empty Source : Wikipedia

Millions of visitors to get the travel info from our web, we have had several requests to feature some island in Nagasaki. In this article, we explain the background of Ikeshima, how to get there and where to stay (there is only one place to stay!).

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Ikeshima island in 1974 Source: Wikipedia
Ikeshima island, Nagasaki in 1974 Source: Wikipedia

What is Ikeshima Island?

Asahi News featured the  last day of the last restaurant called Kaachan no mise ("Mother's shop")on Ikeshima island which closed on March, 2023.


In 1913 Mitsui Mining company bought the area on a small island in Nagasaki for coal mining.


The excavation started in 1959. At that time the mining worker's salary was double of the normal office workers in Japan. The tall apartments were built for the workers. In 1985 the coal production reached its highest point of over 1.5mil tons. There were several accidents in 90s and due to the cheap coal from overseas, the coal mine was shut down in November, 2001. Around 2,500 workers were all let go. The legacy from the good and old time became partly ghost town. 

Today around 200 people reside on the island.


<< If you are interested in cool islands from Japan, you find more from this complete list! >>


The island is called Ikeshima island (池島). It is the last coal mining island in Kyushu area. 


Part of the old mine is used as the coal mine training center where around 60 people from Indonesia and Vietnam learn the safety and know-how of mining every year. 


The island is a popular tourist spot in Nagasaki. The island provides a tour where you go in the mining tunnel and you can go through the old apartments.


It is not as popular as Gunkan island (Hashima island in the same city as Nagasaki) which is a bit more complicating to get than Ikeshima island. If you are looking for a relaxing and easy tour to a mysterious island, this is great. You can only stay for 30 mins or so on Gunkan Hashima island but you can stay OVER NIGHT on Ikeshima island.

As to the tour on the island

If wanting to join the local tour for the coal mine, you need to book it from this website( in Japanese) at latest 3 days in advance.  


High school student or older 2720JPY Primary school and Jr High school student 1360JPY

( younger than primary school students(5 years old or younger) are not allowed)

Need to wear sneakers (no sandal or high heels). 

You can also order the coal mine lunch box. You need to reserve it 3 days in advance. Call +81 959-26-0888.


There are several tours including island tour. For more details, please ask the tour organizer from this mail form or Tel: +81 959-26-0888

Some people staying on Ikeshima island over night and reporting about their experience there.

How to get Ikeshima Island

Ikeshima Source: Wikipedia
Ikeshima Source: Wikipedia

If coming from Tokyo, better stay in Sasebo 1-2 days before you leave for the island.


From Tokyo, 1) you fly from Haneda airport to Nagasaki airport.  It is around 6 hours to get Sasebo port( which is 5 mins by taxi from JR Sasebo station ) or 2) you take bullet train and change in Hakata to a local express to Sasebo. It is around 8 hours.

By air or ground, you need to book around 7 hours before you reach the port to get to the island.


Take a ferry from Oseto port (大瀬戸港)


frequency is good. Ferry which can carry cars. Stable way of travelling.

7 times a day starting at 06:40AM from Konoura port. The last ferry is 18:40 departing Ikeshima port. 440JPY for adult and 220JPY for child 30 min trip in total

( Except for High speed ship 590JPY for adult (300JPY for child) 10 min trip


Take a high speed ship from Sasebo port (佐世保港)


Sasebo port is a big port and easy to get. The ship goes only 2 times a day 07:22AM from Sasebo port and the last one is at 16:09 departing Ikeshima port. 1910JPY for adult ( 960JPY for child) around 1 hour trip 


Take a boat from Konoura port (神浦港)


It is a boat. Sometimes to be cancelled due to the weather. 7 times a day starting at 06:45AM from Konoura port. The last boat is 17:35 departing Ikeshima port. 350JPY for adult and 150JPY for child 15 min trip in total

( Except for Ferry 410JPY for adult (210JPY for child) 27 min trip and High speed ship 560JPY for adult (290JPY for child) 10min trip


Note: Ship leaves on time. It does not wait for you if you are even several second late! Be on time!

some questions about ikeshima island? (Updated 2024)

some examples...any ATM? where to stay?

Q: Can I stay overnight on Ikeshima Island?

A: Yes but the Ikeshima Island Central Hall (池島中央会館) is your only option. 


Q: Any ATM on the island?

A: No. You need to bring cash before you leave the port.


Q: Can I drive to Ikeshima Island? Can I drive around once I am there?

A: Yes, you can take your car on the ferry to Ikeshima Island. And once you are there, you can drive around, though there are some places you can't go.


Q: Are there any shops or places to eat on Ikeshima Island?

A: As of April 2024, there aren't any. And there's no place to grab snacks or groceries at Kanura Port, so heads up. But there are shops and convenience stores around Seto Port.


Also, keep an eye out for days when you can order the coal mine bento box (called Tanko Bento 炭鉱弁当) 900JPY with tea (they only take orders on weekends and holidays). You need to reserve 3 days in advance. 

Where to Stay on Ikeshima

so where is this Ikeshima Central hall?

There is only one place to stay over night on the island. If you want to spend a night on the island, choose this one. 


Name: Ikeshima Chuo Kaikan ( 池島中央会館 )

How to book: Book by phone +81 959-26-2030 (08:00AM-21:00)

Note: No food provided. There are several types of rooms from two single rooms till the big room for 8-15 people. It is possible to stay with no booking if the room is available on your visit ( But recommend to book in advance!)

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More hotels in Sasebo city

We will update you some other options to stay. For example, we have some recommendations for Sasebo city, a very big city with more options of restaurants and bars, famous for Sasebo Burger.

Basically, if you look for a comfortable stay, you should stay in Sasebo city, not on the island!


<< If you are interested in cool islands from Japan, you find more from this complete list! >>

want to shoot TV or youtube video etc. on ikeshima island?

our media support as fixer and Japan side producer

Do you want to TV shooting, music video, photo shooting on the Ikeshima island in Japan? Interviewing the city mayor about the island? Want to interview the local people on the island? 


We worked with major TV broadcasters around the world and online media to carry out their task in Japan. We make planning, arrangement with the venues, also hire local professional crew (videographer, photographer, editor, makeup artist, stylist, model, interpreter etc. ) for the project.


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Source: Wikipedia, Nagasaki city official website 


Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Elvira (Monday, 29 August 2016 22:35)

    Thank you for this information! It is possible to bring the car on the ferry from Sasebo to Ikeshima and then to Konoura? Thank you for your advice!

  • #2

    Laird Small (Monday, 04 June 2018 20:28)

    What times does the ferry leave Oseto for Ikeshima island?