Night View of Mount Inasa (Nagasaki)
About Mount Inasa
The night view of Mount Inasa (稲佐山, Inasayama) is said to be one of Japan’s three best night views. The other two belong to night views from Mount Hakodate, and of Mount Rokko and Mount Maya. The former has panoramic view of Hakodate while the latter two overlook both cities of Kobe and Osaka.
These night views are given the title of ‘ten million dollar night view‘. Were these three views so stunning that they are worth so much, or is it suggesting the high cost needed to light up the cities?
I’m a bit apprehensive of such claims because it appears to be a marketing gimmick. Having seen the day and night views of various cities such as from The Peak of Hong Kong, and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, these views started to look similar.
However, since we were at the city with one of the three best night views, there’s no harm to see if it is indeed worth ten million dollars. Moreover, the 333m high mountain is also close to Nagasaki’s city center and fast to get to. And admission it’s free! Although we do need to pay for the ropeway.
How to Get to the Summit?
There are four ways to get to the summit of Mount Inasa: foot, car, bus and ropeway.
Yup, you can hike up the mountain. There’s no charge to enter the observatory platform, so you will get to view the awesome scenery for free! :)
By Car or Taxi
- The drive up from Nagasaki Station is about 15 minutes.
- The easiest way to the summit is by taxi, but it costs about 2000yen (S$12.30) one way.
- You can drive up if you are renting a car and are confident in driving in the dark. Limited parking is available. Parking near the summit’s observation tower is at 100yen (S$1.30) but is reserved for taxis from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, on weekends and public holidays. If you are going during these hours, you can park halfway up the summit and take a free shuttle bus.
You can reserve a night view tour with Nagasaki Yuran Bus at 1,500yen/adult (S$18.40). More information at nagasaki-yuranbus-reservation.jimdo.com. The bus picks up passengers from various hotels to Mount Inasa.
Based on Japan-guide.com, there’s also Nagasaki Bus that runs 1-2 buses every hour between Nagasaki Station and Inasayama bus stop (150 yen one way), but there’s still a 15 minutes’ climb. Limited information on this bus.
By Ropeway (free shuttle bus)
The most popular way will be by the ropeway. We were not there during peak but we were still packed like sardines in the gondola (as seen above).
How to get to the Ropeway Station
You can take the streetcar/tram to Takaramachi Station and walk about 5 minutes to the ropeway station. Or take the Nagasaki Bus 3, 4 from Nagasaki Station and reach in less than ten minutes.
For us, we took a complimentary bus from our hotel to the ropeway station. This free shuttle bus is provided by the Ropeway, with stops at various hotels and JR Nagasaki Station: reserve.nagasaki-ropeway.jp/pdf/nagasaki_ropeway_bus_leaflet_en.pdf
However, if you are taking the first bus to the ropeway station, you have to take the first return bus back. I think this is to ensure that the bus will have enough seats for returning passengers. However, we missed our (first) return bus. We were hoping the second bus driver could let us up and he did! I think because there were enough seats and with a baby in the tow, the bus driver closed one eye. Phew!
We rushed but still missed our bus. The duration to hop back on the return bus is not very long. It’s sufficient for most people but not for us. Baby Evangeline pooed during the journey and we had to find a diaper room to change her diaper. Moreover, after we reached the top of the ropeway station, we still had to spend some time to reach the observation deck.
- Opens from 9:00AM to 10:00PM (maintenance in early December)
- Gandola departs every 15 to 20 minutes. 5 minutes’ ride.
- Adult: 1,230 yen, S$15.10 (return); 720 yen, S$8.90 (one-way)
- Child: 610 yen, S$7.50 (return); 410 yen, S$5.00 (one-way)
- Discount coupon available online
At the Summit
After we alighted from the ropeway station, we still had to walk about 5-10 minutes to the observatory tower. Once there, we had to walk up the tower or wait for the busy lift to bring us up and down. So that didn’t leave us with much time to enjoy the view before we had to rush back for our bus.
Several television and radio antennas are located at the summit and you can see them almost up close from the observation deck. And if you want to enjoy the night view without the crowd, book a table in one of the restaurants at Mount Inasa’s observation deck.
So did the ten million dollar view live up to its name?
It took my breath away. The night view was stunning. Thousand lights sparkled like jewels against the dark. I can’t remember when’s the last time I was awed by such night view. Probably it was that very first time I was up on Hong Kong’s Peak.
It’s such a pity we couldn’t spend more time to enjoy the view. And we couldn’t enjoy the view together as a family for long because we had to take turns to be indoors with freezing baby Evangeline. Yup, it’s going to be cold out there! So prepare an extra layer of covering.
If you are able to, try to be there during evening and catch the sun turning the sea into orange during sunset. Fireworks can also be seen here during summer.
Enjoy the short video I took of the night view of Mount Inasa (0:28). :)
- 8:00AM-10:00PM (viewing platform on Mount Inasa)
- 24 hours (car park and roof top observation deck)