This is the night, such a beautiful night.
Want to know what a 10 million-dollar view looks like? Mount Inasa claims to offer one of the best nighttime panoramas in Japan right in the heart of Nagasaki city.
Rising 333 feet from the city center, Mount Inasa offers spectacular 360° views of the thriving port city extending out towards Kyushu and the Sea of Japan. On clear days, you can see as far as the remote Goto Islands to the west, the Amakusa islands to the south, and fiery Mt. Unzen to the east.
It’s the beautiful night sights though that typically draw people in (or up).
With thousands of lights from buildings and boats shimmering below, you’ll see why Mt. Inasa is said to possess a ‘10 million dollar view’.
While you can walk up to the summit in about 50 minutes, most visitors take the Nagasaki Ropeway for the views traveling up the mountain. From the Fuchi Shrine stop, you can ride one of the gondolas right to the summit in about five minutes. Single and round trip tickets are available, good for doing one leg of the journey on foot. The ropeway shuts at 10 p.m. after which you’ll have to navigate going down in the dark. Usually taxis scour the mountain to pick up anybody left behind.
At the top of the summit you’ll find the Mt. Inasa Observatory. Although the interior is only open until 10 p.m., its upper deck remains open to the public through the night.
Inside the observatory is the Restaurant of Lights (open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.), which offers great local dishes like Nagasaki champon at counter seats along the windows. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. Reservations are suggested, and available online (in Japanese only).
On your way, pay a visit to Fuchi Shrine which sits a few minutes from the ropeway, and pray for blessings in marriage, academic success, and/or childbirth depending on your current priorities.
Mt. Inasa is also home to several hotels, restaurants, and even hot springs. A favorite among locals and tourists alike is the onsen spa Fuku no yu. With outdoor onsen available overlooking Nagasaki City, you can enjoy the night sights while taking a relaxing soak in the natural hot spring waters. They even offer fish pedicures, where small garra rufa fish nibble away the dead skin cells on your feet.