Gunkanjima opens to the public! The famed ‘Battleship Island’, properly Hashima island- formerly a haikyo Holy Grail, has now been opened to tourists to ‘explore’ along a specially built walkway. The cost of the trip is 4,000yen, including the ferry ride out to the dilapidated island. Tourists have up to one hour (weather permitting) to wander the walkway before they have to re-board the ferry and leave.
This is great in some ways- the island will be preserved, vandals will be stopped from gaining access as security will be doubtless beefed up. But for the same reason, any proper exploration of the island will now be virtually impossible. It’s a live site again.
UER has a ton of photos and text about this place- including many more photos by Kuroneko, amongst others. The following text by
‘As days passed on the island, my impression of it began to change greatly. The innumerable articles left behind, all shrouded in dust, rusted,to me at first seemed merely drifting toward death. Yet, from one point in time, they started to look vivid, and beautiful. I thought perhaps the island, while appearing to fall deep asleep, had gradually commenced to awaken, the day it was deserted.’
Video from Dotokou, a man who grew up on the island, and revisits before it was opened to the public. Haunting. English subtitles.
Brian Burke-Gaffney writes a great article on Gunkanjima.
The Gunkanjima ferry info can be accessed from this site.
Thanks to Miki for tipping me off on this.