Mt. Inasa (稲佐山) is 333 metre high mountain top, with a fantastic panoramic view over Nagasaki, and considered one of the most beautiful night views in Japan.
Overlooking the greater Nagasaki area and bay, the view from Mt. Inasa is great during the day and best during the night, and is called a "10 Million Dollar Night View" for a reason. Mt. Inasa ranks among the 3 most spectacular night views in Japan, the other two being Mt. Hakodate, Hokkaido and the Rokko mountain range overlooking Kobe and Osaka.
Near the top is an observatory with free access to the observation platform, together with a restaurant and souvenir shop.
For the perfect visit we recommend going up a little before sunset, then see the sky change colour and all the lights down in Nagasaki go on one by one. Do pack an extra layer though as it can be surprisingly cold on top.
Going up Mt. Inasa
There’s are different ways to go up: by rope way, bus, taxi or hiking.
Rope way: certainly the most romantic option however its downhill location is not ideal and getting there means either taking the bus, or walking. Fares for a round trip: JPY1,250, and one way: JPY730.
Car/Taxi: Using a car or taxi is by far the most convenient way up. There’s a parking lot right at the observatory, though it's closed to the public on Saturdays and public holidays. A taxi fare will be around 2.000yen from downtown Nagasaki and same back.
Bus: Nagasaki runs 1-2 bus services per hour up to Mt. Inasa, though a 15-minute walk is still required from the bus stop (Inasayama bus stop). The bus is a very economic option at just 170yen from downtown.
Hiking: It’s about 5 km from Nagasaki station up the mountain, with a height of 333 metres going up by foot is doable but takes about 1h 20min up and 1h 05min down. The hike is through forestry street paths with pleasant views along the way.
Tips for visiting
- It can be cold at the top, especially compared to Nagasaki city which is located in a warmer area protected from the wind.
- Be sure to bring your camera with you! This is a shot not to miss.
- If you don’t want accommodation in the city centre of Nagasaki, then there are different options available at Mt. Inasa, including Ryokan with Onsen baths. The most well known is Fuku no yu.
- Mt. Inasa Park is a popular place to visit during the Cherry blossom season.