10 Things to do in Nagasaki - Japan city guide! - Series

10 Things to do in Nagasaki City! / What to do in Nagasaki, Japan?

Table of Contents

  1. Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum
  2. Visit Glover Garden
  3. Discover Sofukuji Temple
  4. The Megane Bridge
  5. Mount Inasa
  6. Step back in time at Dejima
  7. Experience Nagasaki's Chinatown
  8. Nagasaki's famous local cuisine
  9. Oura Church
  10. Vibrant nightlife
  11. Iconic island of Hashima

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What to do in Nagasaki City - Where is Nagasaki City?

  

Japan Map with a circle around Nagasaki.
Map of Nagasaki City in Japan.

Nagasaki is a city located on the western coast of Kyushu island, Japan, renowned for its significant role in Japanese history and its tragic past as the second city to suffer an atomic bombing during World War II. Today, Nagasaki is a vibrant city known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and welcoming atmosphere.

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Nagasaki City offers a plethora of attractions.

Explore Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum.

Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum commemorate the tragic events of August 9, 1945, when Nagasaki became the second city to suffer an atomic bombing during World War II. Visitors can learn about the history of the atomic bomb and its devastating impact on the city, as well as the ongoing efforts towards peace and nuclear disarmament.

 

Nagasaki Atomic bomb museum 1
 
Nagasaki Atomic bomb museum 2
 
  • Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum commemorate the tragic events of August 9, 1945.
  • Visitors can learn about the history of the atomic bomb and its devastating impact on the city.
  • The park features various monuments and memorials dedicated to the victims of the bombing and promotes peace and reconciliation.
 Here is a Video of my visit to Nara.

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Visit Glover Garden for a glimpse into Nagasaki's international history.

Glover Garden is a historic park located on the hillside overlooking Nagasaki Port, featuring beautifully preserved Western-style residences dating back to the Meiji era. These elegant homes belonged to foreign merchants and diplomats who played a significant role in Nagasaki's international trade during the 19th century. Visitors can explore the meticulously restored buildings, stroll through lush gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the city and harbor below. Glover Garden offers a fascinating glimpse into Nagasaki's cosmopolitan past and its connections with the wider world.

  • Glover Garden is a historic park located on the hillside overlooking Nagasaki Port.
  • The park features beautifully preserved Western-style residences from the Meiji era.
  • These homes belonged to foreign merchants and diplomats involved in Nagasaki's international trade.
  • Visitors can explore the restored buildings, gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Book your ticket now on Klook!
---->Link to the booking

Discover the iconic Sofukuji Temple, one of Nagasaki's oldest Chinese temples.

Sofukuji Temple, founded in 1629 by Chinese residents of Nagasaki, is one of Japan's oldest and most significant Chinese temples. The temple complex features stunning Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, intricate wood carvings, and tranquil gardens. Visitors can admire the ornate decorations, including colorful ceramic tiles and elaborate dragon motifs, while soaking in the serene atmosphere of this cultural gem.

Sofukuji Temple 3
 

Sofukuji Temple

  • Sofukuji Temple, founded in 1629, is one of Nagasaki's oldest Chinese temples.
  • The temple showcases stunning Ming and Qing dynasty architecture and intricate wood carvings.
  • Visitors can explore the temple complex and its tranquil gardens.
  • Don't miss the ornate decorations and elaborate dragon motifs.

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Take a scenic stroll along Megane Bridge, known as Spectacles Bridge.

Megane Bridge, or Spectacles Bridge, is a historic stone bridge that spans the Nakashima River in the heart of Nagasaki. Built in 1634, the bridge earned its nickname due to its unique double-arched design, resembling a pair of spectacles when reflected in the water. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll across the bridge, admire its graceful curves, and capture stunning views of the surrounding cityscape.

 

Megane Bridge Nagasaki
 
 
  • Megane Bridge, or Spectacles Bridge, is a historic stone bridge spanning the Nakashima River.
  • Built in 1634, the bridge is known for its unique double-arched design.
  • Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll across the bridge and capture scenic views of Nagasaki.

Enjoy the breathtaking views from Mount Inasa, known as the "Ten Million Dollar Night View."

Mount Inasa, standing 333 meters above sea level, offers panoramic views of Nagasaki and its surrounding landscape. Accessible by ropeway or car, the summit boasts stunning vistas that have earned it the nickname "Ten Million Dollar Night View." Visitors can ascend to the observation deck, particularly popular at sunset and after dark, to witness Nagasaki illuminated in a dazzling display of lights.

 

Mount Inasa Nagasaki 2
 
Mount Inasa Nagasaki 1
 
 
  • Mount Inasa offers panoramic views of Nagasaki and its surroundings.
  • The summit, accessible by ropeway or car, is renowned for its stunning night views.
  • Visitors can ascend to the observation deck to witness Nagasaki illuminated by city lights.

Step back in time at Dejima, a historic Dutch trading post.

Dejima is a man-made island located in Nagasaki Bay, originally constructed in the early 17th century to house Portuguese traders. Later, it became an exclusive Dutch trading post during Japan's period of isolation. Today, Dejima is a fascinating open-air museum where visitors can explore reconstructed buildings, learn about the island's role in facilitating cultural exchange between Japan and the West, and gain insights into Japan's history of trade and diplomacy.

 

Dejima nagasaki 1
 

Dejima Nagasaki

 

 

  • Dejima is a man-made island in Nagasaki Bay, originally built for Portuguese traders.
  • Later, it served as an exclusive Dutch trading post during Japan's period of isolation.
  • Today, Dejima is an open-air museum where visitors can explore reconstructed buildings.
  • It offers insights into Japan's history of trade and cultural exchange with the West.

 Here is a Video of my visit to Nara.

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Experience the unique atmosphere of Nagasaki's Chinatown.

Nagasaki's Chinatown, also known as Shinchi Chinatown, is one of the oldest and largest Chinatowns in Japan. Established in the 17th century by Chinese traders, it is a vibrant cultural enclave filled with bustling streets, colorful shops, and mouthwatering eateries serving authentic Chinese cuisine. Visitors can sample delicious street food, browse traditional crafts, and immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of this historic district.

 

Chinatown Nagasaki
 

Chinatown Nagasaki 1

 

 

  • Nagasaki's Chinatown, Shinchi Chinatown, is one of Japan's oldest and largest.
  • Established in the 17th century, it is a vibrant cultural enclave with bustling streets and shops.
  • Visitors can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine, street food, and traditional crafts.
  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and rich history of this historic district.

Indulge in Nagasaki's famous local cuisine, including Champon and Castella.

Nagasaki boasts a rich culinary heritage influenced by its history as a major port city. One must-try dish is Champon, a hearty noodle soup featuring a medley of ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and pork. Another local favorite is Castella, a sweet sponge cake introduced by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. Visitors can explore Nagasaki's bustling food markets, dine at traditional restaurants, and savor the unique flavors of this diverse gastronomic destination.

 

Castella Nagasaki
 

Champon Nagasaki

 

 

  • Nagasaki's culinary heritage is influenced by its history as a major port city.
  • Must-try dishes include Champon, a hearty noodle soup, and Castella, a sweet sponge cake.
  • Explore Nagasaki's food markets and traditional restaurants to savor its diverse gastronomic offerings.

Marvel at the stunning Oura Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Oura Church, also known as the Church of the Twenty-Six Martyrs, is a historic Roman Catholic church located in Nagasaki. Built in the late 19th century, it is renowned for its striking Western-style architecture and picturesque hilltop location overlooking the city. Oura Church played a significant role in the spread of Christianity in Japan and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can admire its elegant design, intricate stained glass windows, and serene atmosphere.

 

Oura-Kathedrale 2
 

Oura-Kathedrale 1

 

 

  • Oura Church, or the Church of the Twenty-Six Martyrs, is a historic Roman Catholic church in Nagasaki.
  • Built in the late 19th century, it features striking Western-style architecture and stunning stained glass windows.
  • The church played a significant role in the spread of Christianity in Japan.
  • Visitors can marvel at its elegant design and serene hilltop location.

Explore the vibrant nightlife scene around Shianbashi area.

Shianbashi is Nagasaki's entertainment district, known for its lively nightlife, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Whether you're looking for a cozy izakaya (Japanese pub), a trendy cocktail bar, or live music performances, Shianbashi has something for everyone. Visitors can mingle with locals, sample delicious drinks and snacks, and experience the vibrant energy of Nagasaki's nightlife scene.

 

shianbashi nagasaki 2
 

shianbashi nagasaki 1

 

 

  • Shianbashi is Nagasaki's entertainment district, renowned for its vibrant nightlife.
  • Explore cozy izakayas, trendy bars, and live music venues in this bustling area.
  • Experience the energetic atmosphere and mingle with locals in Shianbashi.

Explore the iconic island of Hashima, commonly known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island.

Battleship Island, also known as Hashima Island, is a desolate yet captivating relic of Japan's industrial history. Situated off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, this abandoned island once thrived as a coal mining community, but now stands as a haunting testament to the human cost of industrial progress. Despite its eerie atmosphere, Battleship Island offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into Japan's past and explore the remnants of a bygone era.

 

 
 

Why Visit Battleship Island:

  • Experience a fascinating glimpse into Japan's industrial heritage.
  • Explore abandoned buildings and streets frozen in time.
  • Learn about the lives of the island's former inhabitants and their struggles.

Interesting Facts and Tips:

  • Battleship Island was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
  • Guided tours are available to explore the island's abandoned structures and learn about its history.
  • The island has served as a filming location for movies and documentaries.
  • Be cautious while exploring the deteriorating infrastructure and follow safety guidelines provided by tour operators.

Book your ticket now on Klook!
---->Link to the booking

Special Tip: Visit Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium for an adorable encounter with penguins.

For a unique and adorable experience, head to Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium, located on the picturesque Huis Ten Bosch theme park grounds. This family-friendly attraction is home to various species of penguins, including the popular Humboldt penguins. Visitors can observe these charming birds up close, learn about their behavior and habitat, and even participate in feeding sessions. It's a fun and educational outing for visitors of all ages!

 

Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium 2
 

Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium 1

 

 

Not Seen Enough?
Check out my Youtube!

 Here is a Video of my visit to Nara.

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Explore Nagasaki City Hotels for your accommodation needs.

Nagasaki offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels with stunning harbor views to cozy guesthouses in historic neighborhoods, there's something for everyone. Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, explore Nagasaki's diverse lodging options to find the perfect place to stay during your visit.

  1. Hotel Monterey Nagasaki:

    • Description: Located near Nagasaki Station, Hotel Monterey Nagasaki offers a blend of European elegance and Japanese hospitality. The hotel's architecture and interior design evoke a sense of old-world charm, with spacious rooms and modern amenities.

    • Personal Experience: My recent stay at Hotel Monterey Nagasaki was a delightful experience. Located near waterfront parks, China Town, and Glover Park, this hotel exudes elegant European charm.

      The accommodations were cozy, and the staff provided excellent service. However, some areas showed signs of wear and tear, like worn tiles and outdated furnishings.

      Despite these minor issues, the tranquil atmosphere made for a relaxing stay, with minimal disturbances and serene surroundings. The hotel staff were responsive to feedback, expressing a commitment to improving services for future guests.

      Overall, Hotel Monterey Nagasaki offers a charming retreat with its unique European ambiance and convenient location, making it an ideal choice for exploring historic Nagasaki.

    • Train Connection: Hotel Monterey Nagasaki is conveniently located within walking distance of Nagasaki Station, making it easily accessible for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, you can take local trains or buses to explore the city's main attractions, including Nagasaki Peace Park and Glover Garden.

    • Average Price: Starting from $42 per night
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Nagasaki Kunchi: Offers traditional Nagasaki cuisine such as Champon and Sara Udon.
      • Inasayama Observation Deck Restaurant: Provides stunning views of Nagasaki along with a variety of dishes.
    • To the booking!
      Trip.com Hotel Monterey Nagasaki From $42+
      klook.com Hotel Monterey Nagasaki From $43+
      Hotels.com Hotel Monterey Nagasaki From $50+

  2. Nagasaki Hotel Seifu:

    • Description: Situated in the heart of Nagasaki's historic district, Nagasaki Hotel Seifu offers traditional Japanese hospitality in a tranquil setting. The hotel features tatami-mat rooms with futon bedding, providing guests with an authentic Japanese experience.

    • Personal Experience: My stay at Oedo Onsen Monogatari / Hotel Seifu was serene, with captivating views of Nagasaki Bay from atop Mt. Inasa. While the facilities showed some age and room air-conditioning felt tight, the experience was delightful overall.

      The spacious lobby offered entertainment options like table tennis and karaoke. The Japanese-style room, though dated, was comfortable, and the highlight was the mesmerizing night view from the window.

      The on-site hot spring baths, especially the open-air one on the 11th floor, provided relaxation with stunning bay vistas. However, limited Wi-Fi access may inconvenience some guests.

      In conclusion, Oedo Onsen Monogatari is an ideal choice for a tranquil getaway with breathtaking views in Nagasaki.

    • Train Connection: Nagasaki Hotel Seifu is located a short walk from Nagasaki Station, making it convenient for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, you can easily access nearby attractions such as Dejima Island and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum via local trains or buses.

    • Average Price: Starting from $180 per night
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Hamakatsu: Offers a variety of traditional Japanese dishes such as sushi and tempura.
      • Nagasaki Chinatown: Known for its vibrant atmosphere and numerous restaurants serving Chinese cuisine.
    • To the booking!
      Trip.com Nagasaki Hotel Seifu From $180+
      Hotels.com Nagasaki Hotel Seifu From $200+

  3. APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekimae:

    • Description: APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekimae offers modern accommodations with convenient access to transportation and attractions. The hotel's comfortable rooms feature amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary toiletries.

    • Personal Experience: My recent stay at APA Hotel Nagasaki Ekimae was convenient and comfortable. The hotel's prime location, just across from the station, made getting around Nagasaki a breeze. The staff were friendly and helpful, adding to the positive experience.

      While the room was clean and well-equipped, it was on the smaller side, which may be a consideration for some travelers. The hotel's Irish pub offered a cozy atmosphere, but the breakfast could have been colder. Additionally, the bathroom was small, with limited space for toiletries.

      Overall, APA Hotel Nagasaki Ekimae is a good choice for those seeking convenience and comfort during their stay in Nagasaki.

    • Train Connection: APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekimae is located directly across from Nagasaki Station, making it an ideal choice for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, you can easily access popular attractions such as Nagasaki Peace Park and the Oura Church via local trains or trams.

    • Average Price: Starting from $56 per night
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Shianbashi Yokocho: A lively alley lined with izakayas serving local dishes and drinks.
      • Hanagake: Offers a variety of Japanese and Western-style breakfast options.
    • To the booking!
      Hotels.com APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekimae From $56+

  4. Nisshokan Bettei Koyotei:

    • Description: Nisshokan Bettei Koyotei offers a luxurious ryokan experience in Nagasaki. Featuring traditional tatami-mat rooms with sliding shoji doors and futon bedding, guests can immerse themselves in Japanese hospitality. The ryokan also boasts rejuvenating communal baths, providing the perfect way to unwind after exploring the city.

    • Personal Experience: Our stay at this ryokan was exceptional. Nestled atop a scenic mountain, the inn offers breathtaking views and authentic Japanese hospitality. The Japanese-Style Superior Room was spacious and comfortable, and the traditional baths were a highlight. The staff's attentive service added to the experience, although the shuttle bus schedule posed a minor inconvenience. Overall, a highly recommended retreat for those seeking tranquility in Nagasaki.

    • Train Connection: Nisshokan Bettei Koyotei is conveniently located near Nagasaki Station, allowing easy access for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, guests can explore nearby attractions such as Glover Garden and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum via local trains or buses.

    • Average Price: Starting from $180 per night
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Okinaka: Offers traditional Japanese dishes such as sashimi and tempura.
      • Shinchi Chinatown: Known for its vibrant atmosphere and numerous food stalls serving Chinese cuisine.
    To the booking!
    Trip.com Nisshokan Bettei Koyotei From $190+
    klook.com Nisshokan Bettei Koyotei From $180+

  5. Ryokan Oomuraya:

    • Description: Ryokan Oomuraya offers a cozy retreat in the heart of Nagasaki. With traditional tatami-mat rooms and futon bedding, guests can experience the charm of Japanese hospitality. The ryokan features soothing communal baths, perfect for relaxation after a day of exploring the city.

    • Personal Experience: Our family's recent stay at this ryokan was simply delightful. From the warm reception upon arrival to the serene atmosphere throughout, every aspect of our experience was nothing short of exceptional. Our Fuyo Superior Room with Tatami Area and Hot Spring Bath provided a spacious and inviting retreat, while the private onsen bath added an extra layer of luxury to our stay.

      One minor issue we encountered during our visit was the limited variety of breakfast options, which left us wishing for a bit more variety. However, the quality of the food was excellent, and the staff's attentiveness more than made up for it.

      Overall, our time at the ryokan was truly memorable. The attentive service, serene surroundings, and rejuvenating hot spring facilities exceeded our expectations and left us longing for a return visit. I wholeheartedly recommend this ryokan to anyone seeking a peaceful getaway in the Ureshino area.

    • Train Connection: Ryokan Oomuraya is conveniently located near Nagasaki Station, providing easy access for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, guests can visit nearby attractions such as Glover Garden and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum via local trains or buses.

    • Average Price: Starting from $140 per night
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Okinaka: Offers traditional Japanese dishes such as sashimi and tempura.
      • Shinchi Chinatown: Known for its vibrant atmosphere and numerous food stalls serving Chinese cuisine.
    To the booking!
    Trip.com Ryokan Oomuraya From $130+
    klook.com Ryokan Oomuraya From $115+
    Hotels.com Ryokan Oomuraya From $130+

  6. Casa Blanca Guesthouse:

    • Description: Casa Blanca Guesthouse is a cozy and affordable accommodation option located in the heart of Nagasaki. The guesthouse offers dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds, as well as private rooms for those seeking more privacy. Guests can enjoy communal facilities such as a shared kitchen, lounge area, and rooftop terrace with views of the city.

    • Personal Experience: My recent stay at Casa Blanca Guesthouse left me with fond memories of Nagasaki. The hostel's convenient location near a tram stop made it easy for me to explore the city's attractions without any hassle. The staff were incredibly welcoming, going out of their way to ensure my comfort and providing helpful tips for navigating the area.

      The room I stayed in was clean and comfortable, offering a peaceful haven after a day of sightseeing. I particularly appreciated the cozy atmosphere of the hostel, which made it easy to connect with fellow travelers and share stories over breakfast in the communal kitchen.

      However, one minor issue I encountered was the lack of ventilation in my room, which became noticeable during warmer days. While it didn't significantly impact my overall enjoyment of the stay, it's something worth considering for future guests, especially during the summer months.

      Despite this small hiccup, my experience at Casa Blanca Guesthouse was overwhelmingly positive. The friendly ambiance, coupled with the hostel's convenient location and helpful staff, made it the perfect base for my Nagasaki adventure. I would definitely consider staying here again on my next visit to the city.

    • Train Connection: Casa Blanca Guesthouse is conveniently situated near Nagasaki Station, making it easily accessible for travelers arriving by train. From Nagasaki Station, guests can explore the city's attractions using local trains or buses, including Nagasaki Peace Park and the Oura Church.

    • Average Price: Starting from $30 per night (dormitory bed), $60 per night (private room)
    • Nearby Eateries:
      • Ramen Shobo: Offers affordable and delicious bowls of ramen.
      • Yorimichi Coffee: A cozy café serving freshly brewed coffee and light bites.
    • To the booking!
      Trip.com Casa Blanca Guesthouse From $18+
      klook.com Casa Blanca Guesthouse From $48+
      Hotels.com Casa Blanca Guesthouse From $37+

    With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning attractions, Nagasaki City offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. Whether you're exploring its historic sites, savoring its delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in its lively atmosphere, Nagasaki promises to captivate and inspire.

    Start planning your Nagasaki adventure today and discover why this city is a must-visit destination in Japan!

    10 Things to do in... - Japan city guide! - Series Check out more Cities here!

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