Exploring Gunkanjima: A lone explorer amidst haunting urban decay in Nagasaki, Japan.
An explorer contemplates the haunting beauty of urban decay on Gunkanjima Island in Nagasaki, Japan.

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 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.

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

First surprise:  the ground is full of garbage, broken wood, bits of cement 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…

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

In a distance this giant bridge summons us…

Delightly Attracting - Gunkanjima

Apocalyptic scenes in a row …

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

There are stunning views from all sides.

Walking on the Impressive Footbridge of Gunkanjima
Today's Colors are Blue Gray and Yellow

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

Fantastic Light on Gunkanjima
RC4F Block 3 on Gunkanjima

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

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

RC6F Block 56 on Gunkanjima

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

The Day is Ending on Gunkanjima

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

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

Welcome to Hell on Gunkanjima

… stunned.

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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

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

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