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The freakiest place in the world? The Battleship Island

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May 1st, 2018, 11:56 PM
  #1
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The freakiest place in the world? The Battleship Island

Have you heard of the Battleship Island in Japan?
I mention this place because of a recent horror film “GONJIAM: Haunted Asylum”
The film is showing in theatres right now and received huge commercial success. The film came first at the domestic box office since March, and I have seen it last week. I have been to Gonjiam a few times (but not the haunted house), yet my friend in Korea have never told me about this place.

The film became a hit because the storyline was based on an actual abandoned psychiatric hospital, and it was named the “freakiest places around the world” by CNN travel in 2012.

While you might want to visit these freaky sites. Technically, only the Bone Church in Czech is located in a town and actually “tourist-friendly”. While Akodessewa Fetish Market is open, Togo may be quite difficult to get to. Somehow, I have been to one of the sites myself, and it is named the second place on the list, the** Gunkanjima** (Battleship Island).

For more info and photo about the trip~ you are welcome to visit my blog:https://wp.me/p5Lw9a-2tf

Gunkanjima (meaning “Battleship Island” as the island resembles a warship), also known as Hashima, is a 60,000-square-meter cluster of concrete ruins in the sea of Nagasaki, Japan. In the 1950s it was the bustling home of 6,000 coal mine workers, and the island has been abandoned since 1974 when the coal mines shut down. Hashima was entirely closed off until 2009, travelers are allowed to visit now with a boat tour in Nagasaki. The site also became a UNESCO heritage site in 2015, too!
I guess the island was named a freaky place because of its isolation and tragic history: The coal mine workers were enslaved and tortured when the island was operating, many of them died on the island and the Korean called it “prison island” in the past.
Before we landed, we had a good look at the island from the sea – and I could already feel the “sinister” vibe with deserted islands. The island was fully developed at one point and now there is nothing but rubbles. The island has a designated route and the guide walked us through the route, filled with history and stories, in about 50-minutes.​
​​​​​​It was a unique experience, as I have never been to such freaky places in the past.
For more info and photo about the trip~ you are welcome to visit my blog:https://wp.me/p5Lw9a-2tf
knycx_journeying is offline  
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May 2nd, 2018, 07:08 AM
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Thanks for posting. I'll be in Nagasaki in a few weeks, l'm thinking about putting it on the itinerary. Are there English speaking tours?
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May 2nd, 2018, 08:32 PM
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FromDC - I took the tour to Battleship Island a couple of years ago because I wanted to experience something "different", and I have to say I was not impressed. In fact, out of all the activities I enjoyed on that 23 night trip to Japan, I'd rate Battleship Island on the bottom. Here's a rundown of the morning.

I got to the boat early, so I could get a choice spot on the upper deck. A Japanese lady with a camera the size of a cannon sat in front of me, and both her camera and elbow were blocking my ability to take pictures. When I asked he to be accomodating, she refused. When we got to the island, they gave headphones to all the English speakers, and positioned some sort of 1980's transmitter near us, so that we could hear a "translated" version of the tour. The headphones did not function for anyone unless you were directly in front of the transmitter, so I handed my headphones back to one of the employees.

I found the island to be disturbing from an environmental standpoint. I am deeply opposed to big government, but someone here should intervene and clean up the place. The rust is undoubtedly hurting the organisms in the water, and there is probably all sorts of secondary contamination. It's basically a city and work area that has been abandoned.

The return trip was no fun. I had left my backpack on my seat, and when I returned, someone had put it on the floor, and taken my seat. All of the upper deck seats were then taken, so I sat downstairs, in a stuffy, humid cabin. The staff came around to collect headphones, and I explained to them that I had turned mine in early. Well, they came by three more times, saying that their count was off, and could I please turn in my headphones. Finally, I opened up my backpack and purse, and showed them that I did not have the headphones. I'm surprised that they didn't ask me to strip down.

The staff passed out discount coupons for a return trip, and the British guy near me said, "Once was enough." I then told him, "No, once was one too many times." As an alternative, I wish I had found a one hour boat ride around the ocean area, because it was truly beautiful. There was no need to actually stop on the island.

In spite of all this, I found Nagasaki to be a great city. If you start a post, I'm sure everyone will chime in with suggestions.
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May 3rd, 2018, 04:54 AM
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Thank you, CL, I appreciate the detail. I think that seeing it from a distance on a boat trip around harbor area would be more to our liking. I'm leaving in a couple of days, I have some general ideas about what I'd like to see for 2 full days in Nagasaki but I think a new thread will make sense. Hope you'll chime in.
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May 4th, 2018, 12:53 AM
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You should also visit all the atomic bomb memorial sites... too.
Although the museum in Hiroshima has a bigger scale, you could check out. ~
https://knycxjourneying.com/2017/03/...hima-nagasaki/
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May 7th, 2018, 06:12 AM
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It does have an uncanny resemblance to a battle ship. I see your point. Its a rock pile now basically but putting the history into perspective then I see your point. On a much smaller scale we once toured the military compound in Nicaragua where the dictator Somoza tortured political opponents. It was also the last outpost of the army before they surrendered to the Sandinistas. The jail doors were gone and the walls were pock marked with bullet holes anti was abandoned but you can imagine what happened here. Its a pivotal place in the history of that country.
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May 19th, 2018, 08:25 AM
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Oh no it sounded a bad experience for you,I am a fan of the ruins and my boat trip was not as bad. It was a bit rush though I wish to spend more time on the island.
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May 19th, 2018, 06:27 PM
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It is definitely a unique place - not just from what you see, but how so many families were crammed in there until the mid 70s.
There are I believe 2 tours a day, and each is about 3 hours long - 2 hours for the round trip. If the weather is bad then the tour is cancelled. For obvious reasons of safety you cannot get anywhere near the rubble.
Of course it is not a scenic island cruise - if you want that, I suggest you go to Sasebo and take the 99 Island Cruise.

If you are into abandoned places, you might just love Gunkanjima. It would sure beat going to Chernobyl and getting cancer.
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