Gunkanjima Awarded UNESCO Status

"Battleship Island" Japan's latest World Heritage site

By Peter Sidell    - 1 min read

Hashima in Nagasaki prefecture, known also as Gunkanjima or 'Battleship Island', has been inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.

It was established as an undersea coal mine in 1887, and operated until 1974, with a peak population of over 5,000 living on the island. After the mine's closure, the island was abandoned and the buildings fell into disrepair, but it has since become a tourist attraction.

Movie fans may recognise it as the inspiration for the lair of James Bond's adversary Raoul Silva in Skyfall; while exterior shots were used, no footage was shot on the island, likely owing to safety concerns.

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Find out more about Gunkanjima.

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Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.

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Justin Velgus 5 years ago
Still a place I must visit!
Peter Sidell Author 5 years ago
Me too!
Jordy Meow 5 years ago
I took the photo you used in November 2010. Went back to the island 3 times since then (to take better photos). The island changed a lot in 4 years in term of decay. Hopefully it will be saved.
Jordy Meow 5 years ago
I have a website about Japan :) My reference article about Gunkanjima is this one:

I uploaded a few photos on Wiki but I prefer those two: and Feel free to use them :)