STORY May 13, 2016
It made me think over the future of human beings.
In the 5 km offshore of Nagasaki, there is a small island called "Ikeshima" which used to flourish with its coal mine. Speaking of the island with a coal mine, Hashima also in Nagasaki, aka "Gunkan-jima Hashima (Warship Island) " is famous. While the mine of Hashima was closed in 1974, this Ikeshima mine was closed in 2001 and had been open until the very beginning of the 21st century.
Some people are still living on the island of Ikeshima. But, I wonder how the island would be without the industry. Surprisingly, a peculiar view was also spread there.
T Saito（T・斎藤）T Saito is reporting local stories of the Kyushu region from Nagasaki. Born in Tsukuba-shi of Ibaraki prefecture in 1971. Moved to and lived in Nagasaki since 2001.
This photo was taken in 2006.
Second time after 7 years
About 7 years ago from now, I had visited the island once in April 2006.
I headed straight from the harbor to the coal mine facility by bus at that time. I noticed various points in the scenery from the bus, but I was not able to stroll around the island freely as I was on a package tour.
I want to walk around without no purposes this time. The only thing I have to do is to have a contact with Mr. Kojima (mentioned later) who lives in Ikeshima.
By taking this ship. The building behind the ship is a hotel & a waiting room for a ferry & a city hall branch office. A fishing rod was leaning against the wall in the waiting room.
Access to the Island
There are ships to Ikeshima from 2 locations, Oseto Port and Konoura Port. I took a ship departing from Konoura Port this time. The capacity is 15 people. It takes about 15 minutes. The one-way fee is 350 yen. We tend to brace ourselves for when we hear an isolated island, but this island was easy to go more than expected.
There tend to be 3 ships a day to some isolated islands depending on the islands, but in terms of Ikeshima there are 7 ferries, which can accommodate a car, per day, and there are 7 ships, some are local connecting ships and some are high speed vessels, per day. This means there are fairy plenty numbers (please refer here). But when the waves are high, the local connecting and high speed ships cannot go.
Inside the ship. Enter inside and suddenly there is a wheelhouse. Behind it, there is a space where you can take your shoes off and sit down.
Here are passenger seats. Exciting! I bump into such a lot of small topics every time I go to an isolated islands.
After about 15 minutes, I arrived in Ikeshima.
A good looking guy appears.
When I arrive in the island, Mr. Kenichi Kojima who lives in Ikeshima welcomed me. We have emailed each other beforehand, and this was the first time we actually met. I was wondering how this person was, but I was surprised to meet this cool good looking guy.
He really lives in this small island, and his name is Mr. Kenichi Kojima, and Kojima in Chinese characters means a small island.
Mr. Kojime had moved to this island in October 2011 from the Kanto region. When he was in Kanto, he had activities called "Otona no Shakaika Kengaku (social studies and field trips for adults)", and he had published a book and hosted events.
Currently, as a member of the "economic development of the area projects' cooperation corps" of Nagasaki Administrative Center, he is doing some PR activities as well as historical survey of Ikeshima.
I thought it was really interesting to find out that he came from the metropolitan to the isolated island and it was different, so I asked about it.
He answered, "I have Amazon and SNS, so it was not as different as it seems".
Actually, when I had moved to Nagasaki from Kanto, it was just the time when Amazon.co.jp was opened on the internet, and I had rarely felt any inconveniences thanks to that.
By the way, some online shops have exceptions of the postage for 'isolated islands', but they can deliver items to Ikeshima as normal.
There are really a lot of cats. I saw cats more than humans in Ikeshima.
Cats are hiding here and there. (2 cats on the picture above)
The reason why Mr. Kojima became interested in Ikeshima was the article that I wrote. (I am happy to know that my article had affected the life of someone I do not know far away from me)
After the article, he joined the coal mine tour that I had reported, and he visited the island several times, and he applied for the "economic development of the area projects' cooperation corps". He really hesitated to apply just before the deadline.
I surely understand that. I am sure that he needed lots of courage to come here by leaving everything of his comfortable life in the metropolitan area.
The scenery in front of the port.
The whole island is a coal factory
When you arrive at the port, what you see instantly is this kind of factory facilities. It looks like you are walking inside a factory!
A machine to load coals to the ship,
Facilities such as thermal power generation. None of them are currently running, and they are ruined.
The distance between the living environment and the ruins are really close. (Attention to the road shown on the left)
This is just the beginning as the ruins zone of the island.
It is not something like this ahead, but in order. First, let's start looking at the current living environment of the island.
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