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Gunkanjima: A Full-Moon Night

Gunkanjima: A Full-Moon Night

The night adventure started after some refreshments and a couple Onikoroshi (Japanese sake sold in small paper cartons). Dancing under the moonlight on the rubble is the only way to keep warm. The chill of the night drove away mosquito, welcomed the nocturnal animals: some urban explorers with headlights, and the rats.

If you don’t know anything about the abandoned island of Gunkanjima yet, check this summary first:  Gunkanjima: Stories & Photos.

Abandoned Island by Dawn

Gunkanjima by Dawn

Gunkanjima Sunset


Imagine on a full-moon’s night as today, are the miners singing this song? Were the Hashima Ginza lighted up, filled with young boys enjoying their hot sake after a whole day’s heavy labor? Were Building No.65 full of warm orange lights with housewives standing on the balcony calling their kids playing downstairs to come home for dinner? Were the bath full of hot steam washing away the sweat and tears of the miners…

Gunkanjima Block 18

Sunset on Gunkanjima Block 18

Gunkanjima Pillars

Sunset from the Stairway to Hell

Sunset Stairway to Hell

Gunkanjima at Night

We walk through the history, in silence only can we imagine all its glorious past, its stories told still by the howling north wind. The coldness sunk into your bone, the crying ghosts haunting each room, only by constant walking can you escape the deadly feeling, this is no ordinary midsummer night walk, this is Gunkanjima. Day and night, it haunts every soul that dares setting foot on its holy territory.

Gunkanjima Block 30 at Night

Gunkanjima Shooting Stars

Gunkanjima Mine by Night

Gunkanjima Star Trail

Silent Night on Hashima

Stairway to Hell by Night

Hashima Arches of Hell

The Skyfall on Gunkanjima

Gunkanjima by Night

Hashima Naked Lady Ghost

The Battleship Heart

Hashima Playground by Night

Block 67 "X" By Night

Gunkanjima Sunrise

Keep walking, it will be twilight soon. The ferry from Nagasaki is on its way to bring us back to life, just as it was 40 years ago. In the morning mist, you will recognize the light of the boat, sailing through the rough waves. You will hear the bell ringing, directing the captain approaching the pier…

Gunkanjima Shrine and the Moon

Pacific Ocean and Hashima

Gunkanjima Rooftop Slide

And of course, if you want to see more about Gunkanjima, don’t forget to check other articles of the Gunkanjima: Stories & Photos. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

Texts my former urbex best mate, Sei Mou.

  • Wow, I think those are the first night shots of Gunkanjima I’ve ever seen. Also, it might be the best shots of the ghost island I’ve seen so far. Well done! 😀

    • I am not sure if we were the first or not, but I’ve never seen any photos by night before that neither. But I am sure the guys we were with took super shots too! They are way more discreet than me (which is probably a good thing with such a subject) but I am pretty sure we will find the photos on the web soon. I am curious ^^

      • I’d love to see more either way! 🙂
        Were they Japanese? I just met two Japanese guys on Okinawa the other day. We ran into a pretty nice hotel ruin by coincidence and those guys were inside taking photos with professional equipment. They also seem to have a website. They gave me the link, but I need to dig it out again first! ^-^; …

        • 100% Japanese, yes! The other day, did you go to Okinawa recently? I was there in November… Which hotel are you talking about? Nakagisuku? I went to two of them, but I didn’t post the photos yet. This ruin is famous for everyone in Okinawa, especially since it’s not really a forbidden spot 🙂

          • Yes, I spent almost 2 weeks in Okinawa during my winter vacation (December / January).
            Exactly. That’s the hotel. Well, it might be known by ruin fans and locals, but I’ve stumbled upon it by coincidence! ^-^;

          • Actually same for me, I was supposed to visit he haikyo the day after and by coincidence I found it the day before 😉 Haha! Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the articles about Okinawa, they will be coming soon! Winter is the best time to write them I suppose 🙂

          • Can’t wait to see then although I will be sad to see great photos in good weather! 😉 It just shows me what I missed back then.

  • ArmandTchou

    Great atmosphere, as always with your pictures of Gunkanjima. Light effects are very impressive.

    It’s always a pleasure to “go” there with you.

  • Zitao’s Fan

    Wow, these pictures are amazing. This whole blog is! I’m so envious.
    I’m curious, what is the light seen at the Stairway to Hell, Arches of Hell & Block 67?

    • Thanks 🙂 The light is actually coming from my torch light and filters. What did you think it was?

      • Zitao’s Fan

        Oh okay! I thought it was coming from the buildings themselves but I couldn’t think of how that would be possible, considering they’ve been abandoned for decades…

        • That would have been awesome 😉

          • Saborknight

            Ah damn, let down on the magical sensation

            Mr. Photographer, this is truly amazing, neigh, astounding! I love all of the shots on this blog, but especially Gunkanjima! (The HDR and Night Light shots were the best :D). And the island… wow…!

            I shall definitely film here someday 🙂

  • Ali Jahat

    can i ask.. normal people or tourist can go to hashima?

    • Normal people? :p You can tour Gunkanjima but the area you can see is extremely limited. Check online, there are many boats you can use for that. Going inside the island and buildings, you need a special authorisation from the ward office (and a project).

  • jamessavik

    I know that it was a mine but I’ve never seen pictures of the mine.

    Next time perhaps?

    • I will prepare an article about the mine, unfortunately it’s mostly very old photos. The mine it not there anymore, it’s mostly rumbles…

      • Genna Costello Vogt

        Thank you for this answer! I had been wondering if any of the mining facilities, particularly the underwater portions, were still even there much less accessible!

  • Aldene911

    You are super brave….You went there in the night. kowaii

  • Lệnh Hồ

    Nice photos. it must be awesome spending a night there. I see tours for the day only. how can you spend a night there? Could you leave some advice? thanks a lot

    • Unfortunately, that’s not possible. You can have a look at my summary article about Gunkanjima to understand the background on this:

      • Lệnh Hồ

        thanks Jordy, I read your articles. So the only way for unofficial tour is through the Nagasaki prefecture. I’m gonna give a try contacting them. thanks again for the photos and your guide

        • Of course, they will only discuss with you if you have a very very solid project, they don’t take people there for tourism, not even for a book or a video.

  • Kelvin Thomas

    Another beautiful photo shoot. Thank you for going the places we can’t and recording it. Your work captures the beautiful world, forgotten.

Who Am I

I am Jordy Meow, a French photographer living in Japan. I explore discover offbeat and lesser known places in Japan. Wish to see more, or to help me? Here is my Patreon.