How to get Hashima island - Gunkanjima - and where to stay, Battleship island

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How to get Hashima island - Gunkanjima - and where to stay, Battleship island

Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia
Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia

Hashima, Nagasaki

Onegai Kaeru introduces fascinating destinations (onegai kaeru's Japan travel directory)

 

There are beautiful islands in Japan.

 

This island may be as unique as cat islands or the rabbit island, also more famous than these in Japan. Also used for a film location for James Bond movie in 2012, "Skyfall" and also "Attack on Titan" movie. In the Skyfall, the island was as Silva (Javier Bardem)'s secret base where Bond ( Daniel Craig) fought at the end.

 

The island we introduce here is Hashima island ("端島") esp. how to get there, where to stay and what to get on the island, which tour organizer to use, cheapest way to get there.  

 

The island is also known as Gunkanjima ( battleship island). You ask Japanese if they know Hashima, very few will say "yes" but if you ask if they know Gunkanjima, probably 80% of Japanese say "yes".

 

<<There is also a similar island called Ikeshima nearby, you can check out how to get Ikeshima and where to stay. >>

 

Battleship island HISTORY

Hashima around 1930s Source: Wikipedia how to get hashima and where to stay
Hashima around 1930s Source: Wikipedia

The island was not in focus of anything until the big coal mine was found in 1810. Toward the end of Edo period, fisher men mainly dug coal at very small scale as part time besides their main fishing job. 

 

In 1890, the then owner of the island Magotaro Nabeshima sold the island for 100,000Jpy (1000USD, of course need to be adjusted for the inflation of currency value!) to Mitsubishi company. From this time, Hashima island became one of the biggest coal mines in Japan. The island saw its primary own  school set and shacks built for the workers by Mitsubishi company. At this time there were prostitution and gambling everywhere on the island. The company also extended the size of the island by building more land to it.

 

In 1916 the company built up 30 of the concrete apartments (reinforced-concrete style) for workers.

 

In 1921 Asahi news then reported " Hashima island looks as if a battleship ". 

 

The population peak came in 1960. There were primary and Jr. high schools, a temple, pachinko shop (a gambling place), hair dressers, a movie theater, a pub etc. There were almost everything but no grave yard.

 

Hashima around 1930 Source: wikipedia
Hashima around 1930 Source: wikipedia

In 1960, the energy focus shifted from coal to gasoline. The mine was closed on 15th of January, 1974. The last 2000 people left the island.

 

The island was closed off since then, until 2008 when the Nagasaki city government enacted a rule to open the island for the public in the limited area.

 

The island is awarded the world heritage status.

 

22,261 visited the island in August, 2015 (Nagasaki news).

Demography

Current resident on the island is 0 (zero!)

 

In 1920 when the government started the census, 3271 people on the island whose number peaked at 5151 people in 1960.

Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia
Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia

How to get Gunkanjima Island

How to get Gunkanjima/Hashima?

 

Unless you are in Kyushu island, you usually fly into Nagasaki airport. From the airport, you take a bus for 40-60 mins to get to the city center of Nagasaki. 5 - 6 buses per hour. The bus costs around 800JPY for adult and 400 JPY for kid.

 

<<If you want to rent a car from Nagasaki airport with a foreign licence, check this out!>>

 

Once you are in the city, you take a tram. It depends on which tour company ship you use, which tram stop to get off. All tours start around Nagasaki port so you go in the direction of Nagasaki port.

 

You need a special Gunkanjima tour company to get the island. Keep in mind that due to the unpredictable weather conditions, it is NOT 100% guaranteed that yon can land on the island depending on the season. City safety regulation defines when the ship is allowed and not allowed to approach to the island. If you can not land the island, some percentage of refund usually available (contact the tour company directly).

 

Be aware that when you take the tour, better  bring sunblock, cap and some water to drink. Heat stroke is quite common in the strong sun of Nagasaki.

major tour companies to take you to the island:

There is only one legal way to get the battleship island, which is to take one of the tours from the below tour organizers.

 

There are 5 major tour organizers each of which organizes two tours per day. Thus, 10 tours every day. The weather condition decides whether you can actually reach the island and walk on the island. 

 

You book from these websites or calling up. The tour is usually around 40 USD per head. The tour duration is 1.5-2.5 hour.

1. Gunkanjima Cruise

Web: Gunkanjima cruise 

Price: 3900JPY for adult (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

1950JPY for kid (in this, 150JPY to get on the island)

Credit card not accepted

Tour schedule: 1st tour departure at 09:10AM- and 2nd one at 12:10 lunch time

Tel: +81 95-827-2470

Departure point: Meet up at Motofuna Pier

Note: this company's tour is cheaper than others. The second floor (deck) of the ship has no roof. Wear something to prevent the sun burn. The wind is quite strong on that deck, do not lose your hut. 

2. Yamasa Line

Web: Yamasa Line 

Price: 4500JPY for adult  (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

2350JPY for kids (primary school student (6-12 year old))  (in this, 150JPY to get on the island)

Credit card not accepted

Tour schedule: 1st tour departure at 09:00AM- and 2nd one at 13:00 lunch time

Departure point: Nagasaki port 1st floor

 

Tel: +81 95-822-5002

Note: The ship is the biggest thus stable on the waves.

3. Gunkanjima Concierge

Web: Gunkanjima Concierge 

Price: 4300JPY for adult   (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

3600JPY for Jr. high and high school student  (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

2150JPY for primary school student  (in this, 150JPY to get on the island)

Also group discount available for a group of 15 or more (e.g. 4000JPY for adult )

Credit card accepted

Tour schedule: 1st tour departure at 10:30AM- and 2nd one at 13:00 lunch time

Departure point: Meet up at Tokiwasanbashi

Tel: +81 95-895-9300 

Note: this tour organizer boasts having the highest probability (ca 90%, whereas others are around 80%) of reaching the island. The ship is rather small thus shaky if weather is not the best.

4. Gunkanjima Tour

Web: Gunkanjima Tour 

Price: 3900JPY for adult   (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

3100JPY for Jr. high and high school student  (in this, 300JPY to get on the island)

1750JPY for primary school student  (in this, 150JPY to get on the island)

Tour schedule: 1st tour departure at 10:30AM- and 2nd one at 13:50 lunch time

Departure point: please check the website (50 m away from Gusto restaurant in Oura)

Tel: +81 95-818-1105 

Note: You can get a coal as souvenir. 

5. Island Go

Web: Island Go (Dai Nana Ebisu Maru) 

Price: 1-4 people 24000JPY (to be divided by the number of customers) 

5-7 people 5250JPY per person

8-14 people 4200JPY per person

15-20 people 3150 per person

(300JPY to be added per person when getting on the island)

 

Tour schedule: 1st tour departure at 10:30AM- and 2nd one at 13:50 lunch time

Departure point: please check the website (near Alega Gunkanjima)

Tel: +81 90-8225-8107 (05:00AM-18:00) 

Note: this is a fishing boat. 

 

Better reserve soon because these are popular tours.

Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia
Hashima aka BattleshipIsland Source: Wikipedia

Where to stay on Gunkanjima Island

There is no place to stay. No camping allowed on this island. But you can stay in the city of Nagasaki which is close to Nagasaki port where you depart to Hashima island.

Forza Nagasaki

Source: hotel's official website

Check in: 14:00 

Check out: 11:00

 

Book this hotel from here!

 

Note: 1 min walk from the tram stop. Good sound proof wall. No hotel parking lot (you walk for 3 mins to get a parking place)

Richmond Hotel Nagasaki Shianbashi

Source: hotel's official website

Check in: 14:00 

Check out: 11:00 

 

Book this hotel from here!

 

Note: 1 min walk from Shianbashi tram station. You get a welcome drink upon your arrival (usually!)

Close to the China town and also Gunkanjima museum.

JR Kyushu Hotel Nagasaki

Source: hotel's official website

Check in: 14:00 

Check out: 11:00

 

Book this hotel from here!

 

Note: It is in the JR Nagasaki station. 24 hour convenience store and resutaurant on the 1st floor. 

Dormy Inn Nagasaki

Source: hotel's official website

Have a safe trip To Gunkanjima/Hashima

We hope you learnt all you needed to know about Hashima (Gunkanjima). If you need to know more, please let us know any time! Please share your experience on the battleship island.

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Looking for a cool island near Tokyo? How about Hachijojima? Click here to find out more?  

 

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Source: Wikipedia, Nagasaki prefecture

 

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.

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