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Ikeshima Mine (池島炭鉱) is not so popular among haikyo hunters. Firstly, Ikeshima is not falling to pieces yet. Secondly, it suffers from the presence of its glamorous neighbour – Gunkanjima. Ikeshima, however, is bigger, much bigger. And it has been silently dying for the last 10 years. Stepping on this island was a little like holding the hand of a dying stranger in the hospital…

A few foreign workers were sent to this island for training purposes. They were probably mainly from Vietnam and Indonesia, hence the respective languages in addition to Japanese in the “No Trespassing” sign below.

I went to the hospital, opened the door, ignoring the “no entry” signs. But it was pitch dark and I couldn’t really see what were in the rooms. However, I managed to see a lot of medical kits, oxygen bottles, masks, helmets… I didn’t stay long, the building wasn’t dead: I could hear ventilation and noticed many blinking LEDs and various security lights. The whole package was too frightening after a while. I had to leave.

Around 3% of the apartments are still in use, and they’re located mainly around the harbor (I didn’t post any of these as I prefer the abandoned ones).

The school was build in 1959. In 1970, you could find 1287 students and 204 pupils. Now, in 2010, the total amount of students is… 7! But still, the school looks very neat and tidy. At the door entrance, I also found a locked time-capsule that is supposed to be re-opened in August 2015. That’s on my calendar.

The traffic lights still work. It’s always green for the cars, always red for the pedestrians. That’s not right : I see no cars at all, but there are so many little furry pedestrians!

The number of registered residents in 1970 was 8,000. However, in reality 20,000 people were living on the island that year. There are now less than 300 (without counting the cats, obviously).


  • 1913 – 2002
  • Nippon no Haikyo #180