Select Page

Gunkanjima: A Maze of Streets & Hellish Staircases

Gunkanjima: A Maze of Streets & Hellish Staircases

Gunkanjima is an abandoned metropolis that is almost beyond your imagination. Despite a history that justifies its crazy evolution (see my summary article for the history of Hashima Island), the reality is hard to believable; the Island, yet tiny , is a fabulous labyrinth of avenues, streets and lanes with overhead bridges on top of each other. To discover this very special geography of Gunkanjima, I suggest a short hike under a beautiful spring sunshine and a pleasant breeze from the sea.

Balconies of Gunkanjima
Walking on the balconies…

First surprise:  the ground is full of garbage, broken wood, bits of cements corroded by the ocean air. We were not expecting any sound effect, but there was; the waves breaking on the walls of the island, birds screaming, rats rattling in basements and door slamming by themselves…

Messed-Up Street on Gunkanjima
Layers of Footbridges on Gunkanjima
Layers of footbridges.

Two apartment blocks are connected by walkways that appear extremely intense … Is this an original style by an insane architect? Or is this a configuration for pure practical reasons?

Footbridge between Block 51 and 16 on Gunkanjima
Footbridges between the Block 51 and the Block 16.

In a distance this giant bridge summons us …

Delightly Attracting - Gunkanjima
Delightly attracting.

Apocalyptic scenes in a row …

The Lost Student of Gunkanjima
The Lost Student of Gunkanjima.

Arriving at the legendary staircase; the “Stairway to Hell”. The last time I did not have time to go, but things are different now…

Closer to the Sky on Gunkanjima
The Mythical Stairway to Hell.

 It ends up at the grand gateway of the island. Like the others, it connects adjacent apartment blocks.

Hashima Footbridge
Impressive footbridge.
Looking down from the footbridge of Gunkanjima
Looking down…

Stunning views from all sides.

Walking on the Impressive Footbridge of Gunkanjima
Impressive footbridge.


Today's Colors are Blue Gray and Yellow
Yellow, Gray, Blue…

We climbed back down to those old apartments covered in vegetation. I have been looking forward to exploring them…

Fantastic Light on Gunkanjima
Coming down…

RC4F Block 3 on Gunkanjima
Between buildings at the top…

We’re back down in front of the remains of what was particularly the nurses’ dormitory. It seems that there was a fire.

Senfukuji Sect and Nurses Dormitory on Gunkanjima
Remains of the Senfukuji Sect (泉福寺) and the Nurses Dormitory…

Wedged between two concrete monoliths …that are about to collapse.

RC6F Block 56 on Gunkanjima
Between buildings at the bottom…

The sun begins to set and bathed the island in an orange tone.

The Day is Ending on Gunkanjima
The day is ending…

A quick look at the apartments that we have previously seen from above… we found ourselves again in front of  the fantastic staircase.

abandoned, apartment, gunkanjima, haikyo, japan, japanese, kyushu, nagasaki, on-sale, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Gunkanjima: Apartments
Glance at the Stairway of Gunkanjima
The Stairway…

Instead we chose to admire the sunset, sitting on the crumbled stairs…

Welcome to Hell on Gunkanjima
Come here…


abandoned, asia, gunkanjima, haikyo, japan, japanese, kyushu, nagasaki, ruin, urban exploration, urbex
Gunkanjima: Warm Sunset

And before the island is completely plunged into darkness, here is one last magical moment,  at the entrance of the delusional Block X.

X-Block 67 at Gunkanjima
The X-Block 67.

If you want to discover more about Gunkanjima, visit my summary here: Gunkanjima: 10 Stories, 200 Photos.

  • Sylvain Bodin

    Good photos. Less scarier than the one by night ^^

    • Thank you Sylvain~ ^^ I am glad you like that one, a lot of people said the same thing. At night, it was not that scary actually. It is a bit dangerous because you do not really see what you are stepping on. ><
      Regarding to extra equipment, we actually do not have any. Other more careful people actually have some (special gloves, masks .etc), but we do not…Cameras and lenses are enough weight to carry. 😛

  • Awesome report Jordy, i would like to visit it someday. Probably next october or next year i will travel to there for it. I will notice to you.

    Greetings and congrats for this report!

    • Thank you very much 🙂 This is the first report and there are 9 more to come! Good luck on getting there 🙂

    • Thank you very much 🙂 This is the first report and there are 9 more to come! I guess you’re already ask one of our mutual friend to get you there so good luck with it, urbex is indeed a world full of luck, tricks and patience 😉 And in Japan, it gets extrapolated.

  • Loan Nguyen

    Nice pictures. I really like Jing’s picture, really looks like a film poster.
    The last one gives me the chills. 

    • Glad this article brings your emotions out! And wow, I’m impressed, you’ve just moved but already online 🙂 Take care and good luck 🙂

    • Glad this article brings your emotions out! And wow, I’m impressed, you’ve just moved but already online 🙂 Take care and good luck 🙂

  • Alessandro Geminiani

    Amazing urban exploration session.
    Really liked it.

  • michaeljohngrist

    Great photos Jordy. Well done!

    • Thanks a lot MJG! You responsible for having me getting started at the first place, so any complain about my explorations will be redirected to you 🙂

  • Nice repo + very nice photos

  • Evan


  • Pearl Loi

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 All these made me explored to the other part of the world…Appreciate it…Will definitely keep updating your site 🙂

  • Jester Lights

    Awesome ! Thanks for letting us see a bit of that magnificent site .
    Definitely the kind of place I’d love to lightpaint, along with Pripiat ^^

  • L Austin

    How were you able to tour around? Who do I need to know? 🙂

  • DearGlenn

    Very informative. Thank you.


Who Am I

azalea, drone, flower, japan, japanese, kyushu, natural, nature, saga, spring

I am Jordy Meow, I am a French photographer living in Japan. My interest is to discover and share information about offbeat and lesser known locations for foreigners coming or living in Japan. I published books and now preparing new beautiful series of guidebooks.