Hashima Island commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. Gunkanjima island is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Nagasaki. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island's most notable features are the abandoned and undisturbed concrete apartment buildings and the surrounding sea wall. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from undersea mines. Gunkanjima island's population reached its peak of 5,259. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare. Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009 after 35 years of closure. Since the abandoned island has not been maintained, several buildings have already collapsed. Other existing buildings are subject to breakage.
Gunkanjima Island Access:
Currently, sightseeing boat trips around the island are provided by two operators; Yamasa-Kaiun from Nagasaki Port, Kyodo Co. from Nomo Island. As of April 22, 2009, the island is open once again for public visits, with Yamasa Kaiun providing transportation to the island from Nagasaki