Gunkanjima ConciergeGunkanjima Concierge

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Serch Tour

2018/8/1

Gunkanjima Landing & Cruising plan

10:30

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Ikeshima tour

9:00
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Cruising plan

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Gansho kun of Gunkanjima
General landing statistics 94.7%
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About Gunkanjima - A World Heritage Site

About Gunkanjima

The Golden Age of Coal, in which Gunkanjima was in full operation 3 shifts a day, that breathing is revived. It was called the nightless castle which was bright even at midnight.

The Golden Age of Coal, in which Gunkanjima was in full operation 3 shifts a day, that breathing is revived. It was called the nightless castle which was bright even at midnight.

You can still see the island's appearance on the Gunkanjima landing cruise.

Gunkanjima (Hashima Island) is at a distance of 18.5 km by ship from Nagasaki Port and is located ahead of Iojima, Takashima, and Nakanoshima.
The shape of Gunkanjima looks like a "warship". By land, this island is nearest to Nomozaki Peninsula, the southernmost point of the Nagasaki Peninsula.
The surrounding sea area of Gunkanjima is also known as a treasure trove of fish for fishing. It's also a dreaming place of fishermen along Goto Island.
The tide flow here is rough due to the sea is nearby. Even in light wind, the aspect of the wave could be changed completely, so careful and safe sailing operation is required.
On Gunkanjima, the “Dolphin pier” was completed after several improvements, based on the experience of the concrete being damaged and swept away several times by the typhoon.

The world's highest population density
The population density of Gunkanjima was about 18 times more than Tokyo.

Tokyo Area: 2,188km²/ Population: 9,683,802 people
Density: 4,425/km²

New York Area:789km² / Population:7,781,984 people
Density:9,863/1km²

Gunkanjima Area:0.063km² / Population:5,267 people
Density:83,603/1km²

※ In 1960

Japan's first "high-rise reinforced concrete (RC) apartment"
The oldest high-rise RC apartment in Japan (Building No.30)

You can still see the island's appearance on the Gunkanjima landing cruise.

Japan's highest "TV penetration rate"
The salaries of Gunkanjima miners were high, and each family owned a television as usual.

TV penetration rate
Nationwide: 10%
Gunkanjima: almost 100%
※ In 1958

The longest submarine water pipelines in the world
In order to obtain a stable living water, the first 2 submarine water pipelines in Japan were constructed.

Opening date: October 11, 1957
Daily living water: about 1,000t/day
Construction period: 1 year 5 months

Japan's first rooftop garden
On the less green Gunkanjima, a rooftop garden was established to increase the greenery of the island.

Pioneering was the Building No.14, a wooden 5-story building; then the entire rooftop of the Building No.16-18 were turned into gardens.

"Bituminous coal" boasts the highest coal quality in Japan
Gunkanjima's coal has less bota (bad coal). Japan's best quality bituminous coal was mined here.

Anthracite: Carbon content of 90% or above / Calorific value: 4,500-8,000 (kcal/kg)
Bituminous coal: Carbon content of 83 to 90% / Calorific value: 4,500-7,000 (kcal/kg)
Sub bituminous coal: Carbon content of 78 to 83% / Calorific value: 4,000-6,000 (kcal/kg)
Brown coal: Carbon content of 70 to 78% / Calorific value: 2,500-4,000 (kcal/kg)

Reference
Coal Energy Center "Types of coal"

The tallest "elementary and junior high school" in Japan
On Gunkanjima, where the area is small, the Japan's tallest elementary and junior high school was built.

The number of elementary and junior high school students in the heyday was 1,169.
※ In 1962

Exhibition "History of thirty years in Takashima Town"

"Nursery school" in Japan's highest position
The children were walking up the stairs to the nursery on the rooftop of the Building No.65 (a 9-story building).
26 meters above sea level. The capacity was 150 people.
※ In 1953
Japan's first "Dolphin Pier"
The Dolphin Pier was completed in consideration of the convenience and safety of the landing.

First built: The first "Dolphin Pier" in Japan, completed in 1954, was designed to withstand a wave height of 3 meters. However, it was swept away by the Typhoon No. 9 in August 1956 (the wave height recorded at that time was 7 meters).

Second pier: Rebuilt in 1958. As a result of considering the safety for the wave height of 7 meters, the main body of the dolphin was made of steel frame, the ocean floor was dug down to 9m from the low tide surface. However, it is sunk by Typhoon No. 14 in 1959. The wave height at this time is said to be 12-13m.

Third pier: Rebuilt in 1962. It was thought to be impossible but a durable dolphin pier was born by creating an artificial island 25m long, 12m wide and 15m high from the seabed. This island was created by driling 3 meters of rock on the opposite side of 15 meters from Gunkanjima . It is now used as a place for landing cruise ships on Gunkanjima.

The "Liner Ship" has longest years of service in Japan
The liner ship was the longest in the Japan as the foot of the people on the Gunkanjima.

Yugaomaru was launch in Meiji 20 (1887).
After a few years, it was put into use as a liner ship.
Thereafter, it was shuttling three times a day until the route was closed in Showa 37 (1962).

From natural coral reefs to an artificial island

From 1893 (Meiji 26) to 1931 (Showa 6), after the sixth landfill construction, it became the current semi-artificial island from the natural coral reef.
Before that it was a small island consisting of a large reef and the surrounding area.

How do I travel around the island?
The roads on the island are narrow and the movement is mainly on foot.
I used a bicycle and a rear car when I carried luggage.
Because a large car and a normal car were not able to pass, the island only had one small automatic three-wheeled truck and tens of bicycles.
In the case of moving, bicycles and rear cars are useful for small areas.
What were the children playing?
Sunny days are baseball and jump rope. On rainy days, softball throw and play indoor.

When they were playing baseball in a small place other than the school ground, they would enjoy making their own rules, such as having a team of three or four people.

The large hallway was just fine for a rainy day playground, and the street where the car was not passing was also a good playground.

About the adults' entertainment
They enjoyed the same kind of entertainment as today, such as shopping and drinking.

For men, it was drinking, pachinko, mahjong, billards, go shogi (Japanese cheese), fishing. Women enjoyed shopping, fashion and and neighborhood gossip meetings. In addition, there was a playground for adult men.

Wasn't shopping inconvenient?
There were no problems with daily necessities
in the "Buying Association" and "Individual Stores" managed by the company.

The “Purchasing Association” sold food, clothing, cosmetics, cigarettes, watches, household goods, etc., where daily necessities are cheaper than market prices. At the shops of the Hashima Consumers' cooperatives, which faced Hashima Ginza, there had sales campaigns for health equipment.

From outside of the island, craftsmen and goldfishers who worked on repairing scissors and umbrellas also came there.

What if they got sick?
After the Great Fire in 1957 (Showa 32), a new hospital was built. The medical system was also established.

The medical system was 9 doctors, 14 nurses and 1 pharmacist.

The bed was increased to 58 floors, with isolated beds for tuberculosis and infectious diseases. Regular medical examinations were also held.

What happened when the fire occured?
Depend on the situation, the Takashima firefighting team together with the island's firefighting team rushed to stop the fire using the liner ship “Yugao Maru”.

A high-rise reinforced concrete apartment and a wooden building coexisted, but mostly wooden buildings were fired.

Was neither the pool nor the bath seawater?
After the submarine water supply was opened in 1957, there was no worry of fresh water for drinking,
but seawater was still used in the pool and miners private baths.
The island was surrounded by a high sea wall, and because of the prohibition of swimming in the sea, the island had a pool that pumped up seawater.

In private bath, miners had a rough wash with seawater and a hot water bath to remove the coal dust dirt, and fresh water was used for the hot water.
"Hashima allowance"
Labor union demanded to be paid for the cost of living in a remote island where there were many expenses. Negotiations were conducted.

Although the rent was about 10 yen, water and utility expenses were free, but in 1948 (Showa 23) the labor union demanded to be paid an amount of 25 yen per person.After the conclusion of the agreement, in the following year, Hashima residents received an allowance of 32 yen for a working day. It was the industry's first unique allowance.

In addition to living expenses and necessary expenses, there were also lots of money that could be spent, and people on Gunkanjima were very fashionable. It's said that some women went to the island's hair salon once a week.

"Amakawa"
Name of an adhesive. "Amakawa Sea Wall" is also registed to the World Heritage Sites List.

Amakawa is an adhesive, it's a mix of lime and red clay used as glue for stones. This seawall construction method is called "Amakawa method".

A 10 meters high and 2 meters wide seawall was completed by arranging and holding natural stones together with "amakawa"

Some of Amakawa seawalls still remain, and you can see them on the Gunkanjima landing cruise.

In the picture, "An Amakawa seawall was destroyed in a disaster"

"Big waves sightseeing"
Typhoon is the fate of islands floating in the ocean. However, the Gunkanjima islanders even had time to enjoy the big waves caused by the typhoon.

The big waves are one of the characteristics of Gunkanjima.

Even women also enjoyed the big waves, it is said that they were not able to become real islanders if they were afraid of the typhoon.

"Shiofuri town"
When the sea gets rough, the waves hit the seawall and flowed over the high-rise apartment.

A wave of more than 10 meters in height flooded the street between Building No.59-61 and Building No.65. The tide water turned into salt crystals by the sun.

Due to the fact that the Building No.59-61 were easy to be harmed by typhoons and salt damage, they were built at the right angle to the seawall, and there's no fence or window on their wall were countermeasures to deal with the tide.

"Sanjinsai festival"
A big event sponsored by the company. It was held around April 3 annualy to warm up the whole island.

The attractions such as the ritual sumo match and the dedication dance were held in Showakan (a movie theater). Highlight of the festival was Mikoshi (a miniature shrine), after receiving the prayer from the God of Hashima Shrine, the young people carried it on their shoulder and took it around the island.

Only in 1957 (Showa 32) the festival was held in May, a month later than usual, for those who were depressed by the large fires of Typhoon No. 9 and 12 in the previous year.

There was a worship hall in Hashima Shrine which was built to enshrine the Mountain God, unfortunately it collapsed. Only small shrine remains now.

"Sport and cultural festival"
The company-sponsored sports day was held on November 3rd every year, while the cultural festival took place four days each year in November.

The sports day was held at the school grounds on November 3rd. The islanders were enthusiastic about the competition between teams divided by living area and workplace.

The cultural festival was held in November for four days in the gymnasium and public hall, where paintings, flowers and books were exhibited.

"Jigokudan"
One of the main outdoor passage stairs. It leads to Hashima Shrine from the inside of Building No.57

With the long and complicated staircase, you might feel short of breath on the climbing way, so it was named as "Jigokudan". It was also a marathon course at Hashima Junior High School.

The other main passage stair was "50 steps" leading to the square of Building No.57

"Showakan"
The only cinema on the island, it was an extreme popularity as there always had the standing audiences.

It is completed in 1927 (Showa 2). The exterior of the building was decorated with bricks and was a modern construction at that time.

More than 30 movies were shown every month. It was closed at the beginning of the 1940s when the popularity of movie had been fallen. Thereafter, it was used as a meeting place and table tennis court.

"Hashima Ginza"
The open-air market opened, and covered temporary stores were lined up.

It became the main street of the island. Everyone came here not only to enjoy shopping but also to meet together.

"KANBASEN"
A nickname of a sampan (wooden boat) which helped the liners to land.

It's a means to tie between the liners and the pier until the dolphin pier was made.

The 3 boatmen carried about 20 passengers a ride and took the boat to land at the pier.

The landing was also possible in stormy weather, but it was difficult to land on strong winds and rainy days, especially for women because on a blowy day the skirts are easy to blow up in the wind, it could be an "embarrassed" landing day.

"Saotori" "Sakiyama" "Ushiroyama"
The people who operate the trolley trains are called the Satotori, the instructors of the coal mining are Sakiyama and the members are Ushiroyama.

"Saotori" is a quick-working, fast-moving, young worker's job. It was also known as "pin-off" because of the loading and unloading of pins connecting trains.

Basically, in one workplace, there were from 2 - 3 Ushiroyama to several Ushiroyama worked together under the instruction of a Sakiyama.

The "Sakiyama" who had skilled workmanship that considered to be standard was called "Osakiyama"