One of Japan’s most picturesque ports, Nagasaki is a lively city that has long played an influential role in Japanese trade. It’s home to the Nagasaki Peace Park and the ghost island of Gunkanjima, as well as an elaborate Obaku school temple.
Things to do in Nagasaki
Pay your respects to those who lost their lives in the 1945 atomic bomb attack at the Nagasaki Peace Park. A black monolith now marks the epicentre of the bombing and a pillar from the former Urakami Cathedral stands nearby, with the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum detailing the events alongside a striking memorial hall to the victims.
A short boat ride from Nagasaki takes you to the “battleship island” of Gunkanjima, which boasted the highest population in the world before its coal mine closed and it was abandoned in 1974. Tours include visits to the island’s observation decks, which offer impressive views of its historic buildings.
Admire the unique Chinese architecture of Sofukuji, a 17th-century temple that belongs to the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism. Enter through the bright-red Ryugumon gate to explore its impressive Buddha Hall, together with a large cauldron built by the resident priest, Qianhai, to feed the hungry during the famine of 1681.
Soak up the "10 Million Dollar Night View" of Nagasaki from the summit of Mount Inasa. It’s best reached along the Nagasaki Ropeway, a scenic cable car ride that begins at the Fuchi Shrine and offers superb panoramas of this hilly city and its bustling port.
Getting around Nagasaki
Nagasaki Airport is located around 45 minutes’ drive from Nagasaki’s city centre, which is a 7.5-hour train ride from Tokyo. Trams travel throughout Nagasaki and to the Peace Park, while the downtown area is easy to navigate on foot.