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World Heritage Gunkanjima, Kyushu Trip Part.6 Nagasaki

Landing on Gunkanjima
Landing on Gunkanjima

(10) Landing on Gunkanjima

The ship came close enough to see inside the windows of the ruined building. It seems that our ship is going to be moored at a small concrete pier. The water you see in the photo is the inland side. This small Hashima Port was built in a location that is less affected by the waves.

When I was doing my research for the trip, I read someone's review saying, "Even if the weather is good, if the waves are high, you won't be able to land." The waves were calm for my cruise, so I wasn't worried. It's like a torture to come this far and have to give up landing. If you can't land, the ship will cruise around Gunkanjima and return to Nagasaki Port.

Pier at Hashima Port
Pier at Hashima Port

Following the instructor and cruise guide, I landed first. When I was looking at the island from the ship, the two buildings on top of the hills stood out. I thought. There is one of them at the top of the photo above. This square structure was a water tank. Oh yeah, keeping the water tank in that high position will give enough water pressure by gravity.

Executive employee housing on Gunkanjima
The first sight after landing

After passing through a short tunnel, I see ruins that look like something out of a movie. Another striking building can be seen on the hill. This is an apartment for executives. Luxurious 20 housing units and they came with a bath. The residents could see the ocean from all directions. I would like to see the scenery from the building, but this building is decaying so much that it's not safe to go in.

Square concrete frames stand in rows. These are the stanchions of the coal storage belt conveyor. In the old days, there was a belt conveyor on the top which carried coal to the coal storage.

Ruins of Gunkanjima
What's on the balcony of a luxury apartment?

I'm curious about the executive's luxury apartment, so I'm going to zoom in. The wall of the balcony has collapsed and is in a very dangerous state. The plant on that balcony looks like an aloe. I love succulents, so I wonder why aloe is there.

It's true that aloe flowers and seeds, but I don't think seabirds eat them. It's a little hard to imagine that a bud sprouted from bird droppings. The people who used to live here must have grown the aloe because they wanted some plants on their balconies on this island with little greenery. It may have been quietly growing since the mine was closed in 1974. I personally want to believe so.

Gunkanjima map
Hashima aerial photograph of the first observation area

After landing, there will be lectures by heritage guides mainly at the three observation areas. Tours are only allowed on the side where the coal mine used to be. The other side of the island, where residential apartments were densely packed, cannot be visited because of the severe decay of the buildings.

Most of Yamasa Kaiun's seafarers are young men, and the heritage guides are elderly people. An explanation from someone who knows the time when this island was active as a coal mine carries weight.

Hashima Nursery School ruins
Elementary and junior high school on the right, nursery school on the roof of the company housing on the left

The large building with partially white walls that can be seen in the distance from the first observation area is Hashima Elementary and Junior High School. I can still see the glass in the window frame.

On the roof of the building on the left, there was Hashima Nursery School and Japan's first rooftop vegetable garden. The residents brought soil in buckets to create a place of relaxation with green since this island has such little greenery. The reason why we can still see green on the roof is because the soil is still there.

Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.



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