Nagashima Island

Infamous Sanatorium for Hansen's Disease

Brief Introduction

Nagashima is one of the many beautiful islands located in the Seto Inland Sea. In the late 1980s, a bridge was constructed to connect it to the mainland of Oku town, Setouchi City.

For most of the last century, the island has been known as the location of a rather infamous sanatorium for patients afflicted by Hansen’s Disease. The social stigma surrounding this led the island and its residents into isolation.

As the national and local government has made great efforts to come to terms with the issue of Hansen’s Disease and the unfair treatment that patients on the island received, there has been a movement to attract visitors to Nagashima to help raise awareness and preserve its history.

Access: Take the Ako Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Oku Station. Take the Aisei-en bound bus from Oku Station to the Aisei-en Iri-guchi bus stop. The National Sanatorium Nagashima Aisei-en Museum is about a 2-minute walk from the Aisei-en Iri-guchi bus stop.