Eco-friendly travel guide to Nagasaki advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Nagasaki, Japan.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$80 - $150
- Budget per day: US$200 - $400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Nagasaki, a Japanese city, located on the northwest coast of the island named Kyushu. The city has a population of 4.3 million. The city is best known as the first city to be attacked by a nuclear weapon when the United States blew it up with an atomic bomb in 1945. The city struggled for a while with the after-effects, but over time they have established numerous ways through which people can travel responsibly. Various things can be done to ensure responsible travel, and these include:
Your trip to Japan begins the second you book the flight. Instead of booking a 5-star and luxurious hotel, find out if the hotel is eco-friendly. After securing the getaway, you need to book a hotel for your stay. Eco-friendly hotels are hotels that follow certain environment-friendly practices that support and protect their local environment.
As a tourist, you will feel that using mineral water bottles and disposable items is a better choice, but they are not. These items create a lot of pollution that uses a lot of natural resources to dispose-off properly. You can carry your refillable water bottle and a cloth bag while traveling to the country.
While booking your flight, make sure that you take a direct flight. Avoid booking transfer flights as they cause a lot of harm to the environment and take more time to reach the final destination. Try and use public transportation as much as possible. While there aren’t too many options and the comfort of a private car or a cab is far more superior, it is recommended that you use the waterways, the trams, and the buses, these are efficient, cost-effective. They certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to this, Nagasaki is a city whose beauty is par excellence, and exploring it on foot or a bicycle shall also serve to be a phenomenal experience.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Japan is moderate. There are not many heavy industries in the city, so there is less air pollution than in places with many heavy industries. The main roads do have heavy traffic, although air pollution from traffic tends to be minimal as you will not see many old cars in the city. The air pollution from cars does not affect most people unless they have underlying breathing conditions. Japan is considered one of the world's noisiest countries, and Nagasaki's city falls under the country's top three noisiest cities. Several factors lead to noise, with the most prominent being related to the culture. For instance, Japanese society tends to value public expression rights over the rights to quietness, even if the expression is loud, repetitive, and annoying. Also, there is a tendency to make public announcements and warnings. Water pollution is relatively low in the city of Nagasaki. It was high for a long time, as there was high pollution caused by various solid waste products, especially plastic and sewage. The city put up an intense fight against water pollution by plastic, especially, and has successfully reduced pollution levels.
Respect the Culture
The city and its culture generally evolved around the bombing of the city during world war two. Some places are treated with respect, and it is only standard that tourists ensure that they display the same amount of respect for said areas. The city of Nagasaki has many delicious dishes that are unique to the city, and it is wise to try them. Taking part in events that occur in the city and trying to get to know some of the locals' practices are also ways through which visitors can show that they respect the culture. Upon meeting, a handshake is appropriate. Nodding is very important. When listening to a Japanese person speak, especially in English, you should nod to show you are listening and understanding the speaker. Silence is a natural and expected form of non-verbal communication. The Japanese handshake is limp and with little or no eye contact. Some Japanese bow and shake hands. The bow is a highly regarded greeting to show respect and is an appreciation by the Japanese. A slight bow to show courtesy is acceptable. Great importance is placed on loyalty, politeness, personal responsibility, and everyone working together for the larger society's good. Education, ambition, hard work, patience, and determination are held in the highest regard. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some people may wonder why others would want to visit the city of Nagasaki, and tourists' sites are amongst the reasons.
Here are the top 10 places you can see in the city:
- Hashima Island: Hasima Island is one of the famous islands in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Northeast Asia. The island is also known as The Battleship Island or Gunkanjima Hashima Island. The island is situated in the area of 6 hectors.
- Insa-Yama Park: Insa-Yama Park is a hill in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Fuchimachi, Nagasaki, Japan. The height of the mountain is 333 meters. The elevation allows visitors to travel from the top through the Nagasaki Ropeway.
- Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is one of the famous museums in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Hiranomachi, Nagasaki, Japan. It was established in the year 1955.
- Huis Ten Bosch: Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in the city of Nagasaki, Japan. It is located in Huis Ten Bosch Machi, Nagasaki, Japan. It is a famous tourist attraction in the city of Nagasaki.
- Nagasaki Peace Park: Nagasaki Peace Park is located in the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The park was established in the year 1945 during World War II. It was designed by an architect named Seibo Kitamura.
- Meganebashi Bridge: Meganebashi Bridge is the arch bridge in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Uonomachi, Nagasaki, Japan. It was built in the year 1634.
- Nagasaki Shinichi Chinatown: Nagasaki Shinichi Chinatown is a tourist attraction in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Shinchimachi, Nagasaki, Japan.
- Our Church: Our Church is the minor basilica in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Minamiyamatemachi, Nagasaki, Japan. It was established in the year 1864. The church was styled in the Gothic Revival style.
- Urakami: Urakami is a famous cathedral in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Motoomachi, Nagasaki, Japan. The cathedral was established in the year 1877.
- Hollander Slope: Hollander Slope is a famous historical landmark in the city of Nagasaki. It is located in Higashiyamatemachi, Nagasaki, Japan. It is also known as Oranda-Zaka or Dutch Slope. The name was derived in the second half 19th century.
Nagasaki is one of Japan's most visited cities because it is a cultural city with numerous places to see and experience. The city is home to many shrines and temples, exciting to explore, whether you are a religious person. Numerous parks are praised for meeting the exquisite standards that are associated with Japanese parks and gardens. There are also countless historical and cultural sites to see to ensure that you have the best possible memories from the city. The choice to visit the city of Nagasaki is, without a doubt, a great one, and it will be worth your time and every cent spent. Keep reading to be able to find out more about this fantastic tourist destination.
Japan is well known for having some of the best parks and gardens, and the city of Nagasaki is home to some of the best in the country. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Tateyama Park
- Konpira Park
- Maruyama Park
- Mt. Nabekanmuri Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and a zoo. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Unzen-Amakusa National Park
- Saikai National Park
- Kazagashira Park
- Nagasaki Peace Park
- Nagasaki Bio Park
The city of Nagasaki is known for having some of the best beaches in Japan. They are some of the must-visit places in the city. Below is a list of some of the most popular beaches in the city.
- Takahama Beach
- Tsutsukihana beach
- Tatsunoshima Island
- Miuda Beach
- Hamagurihama Beach
- Hitotsuku Beach
The city of Nagasaki also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium
- Suwa Shrine
- Nagasaki Seaside Park
- Sōfuku-ji Temple
- Mt. Inasayama Observatory
- Nagasaki Bio Park
Nagasaki is a city with a story and a lot of historical value, and, naturally, they have many museums. In as much as most of the museums are of some historical significance associated with the atomic bomb, some are there to commemorate other factors of the city's history and culture. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
- Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture
- Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
- Museum of 26 Martyrs of Japan
- Endo Shusaku Literary Museum
Nagasaki, being part of Japan, is privy to the various Japanese cuisines that have become popular worldwide. There is also a variety of cuisines from across the globe. As a visitor, you can take your time to try out food from different areas and enjoy other things on different days. There are also several street vendors, and if you are not afraid or a person who quickly gets sick, you should give these a try. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
Traditional Local Restaurants
One of the best things about traveling worldwide is trying the various local cuisines available in that area. In most cases, traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local foods' taste, and maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. The city of Nagasaki has many traditional local restaurants that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- Kaisen Ichiba Nagasaki Port Shinchi Restaurant
- Tarafukun Sas
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Since it is already established that cravings for the vegetarian and vegan dishes in a city, here are some of the local vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city:
- Veggie Cafe Bar Nobister
- Nagasaki Wellness
- Mos Burger Nagasaki Hamanomachi
Street food is quite popular in the city of Nagasaki; it is found almost everywhere. Vendors sell most of the street food in the city, and in most cases, they sell food that is popular in the city at a slightly lower price than restaurants.
- Omura Sushi
- Turkish Rice
- Sasebo Burgers
- Goto Udon
- Champon & Sara Udon
The temperature influences the beverage of choice at that time. There is an endless variety of non-alcoholic drinks, excluding water, to choose from in Nagasaki. Other choice beverages include soft drinks, lemonade, milkshake, vegan shakes, and even iced tea or coffee. On the colder days, especially during winter, the beverages of choice are usually hot, with things like tea, coffee, and warm milk being the most sought after drinks. In its various types and flavors, tea is loved by most people, and in most cases, they drink it even on a hot day. Alcohol consumption is relatively high in the city of Nagasaki as alcohol is a source of entertainment or a way of cooling down after a long and hard day at work. There are several bars and pubs where people can go for a relaxing drink and hang out with friends, while some people prefer to drink in the comfort of their own home. The local brew of alcohol is known as Sake and is the most popular alcoholic beverage. Several other alcoholic drinks are enjoyed by people depending on their taste in alcohol.
Nagasaki’s tap water supply system is safe. The tap water is drinkable even without filtration and boiling, in metro stations, malls, public toilets, and even in hotels. The quality of the water is determined at the source and not at each tap. While contamination in such an extensive water supply system is still possible, everyone considers the water safe everywhere. In fact, before a single drop of water is released into the system, it has to pass over 50 quality measures set by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. Nagasaki currently receives 80% of its water from the Tonegawa and Arakawa Rivers, and the remaining 20% from the Tamagawa River. The water from Tamagawa is clear enough that it only needs standard treatment to make it drinkable. The quality of freshwater emanating from the first two rivers, however, is somewhat lower. But by implementing advanced water treatment, the waterworks can bring quality to an exceptionally high level.
Eating clean and healthy is the new craze. Most people, mostly the rich and famous, prefer to eat organic food, which is clean and unprocessed, to ensure that their bodies only get the best that nature has to offer. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes that one could try in the city of Nagasaki:
- Rota Cafe
- Parfait & Restaurant
- Setre Glover's House Nagasaki
- Borderless Lounge
- Hotel New Nagasaki
Beer is quite a popular beverage in most countries, and some are privileged enough to brew their own from a unique set of ingredients. Locals tend to be proud of their local beer and to enjoy drinking it. The city of Nagasaki has a few breweries that specialize in making local beer known as sake. These breweries include:
- Kawazoe Vinegar Brewery
- Beer Pub & Cafe Awake
- Bar Iwi
- Amakusa sonar beer
- Asahi Breweries
Numerous activities can be done as you explore the city of Nagasaki. The city is one of the most visited in Japan by both local and international tourists alike. The activities are designed to ensure that no one is left out, and people of different interests can still enjoy and have a great time. Some of the most popular activities include museum tours, hikes, bike riding, game drives, visits to the many religious sites, and beautiful gardens, to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city center while others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city offers.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite popular globally, and there are yoga studios in almost every country in the world. The city of Nagasaki has several yoga studios, although some are preferred to the rest.
- Lotus bloom Yoga Studio
- Herculean Fitness Center
- Hot yoga studio LAVA ion Town Nagayo shop
- Litsea Yoga Studio
The city of Nagasaki might be one of the most expensive cities in the world. Still, there’s no shortage of budget hotels and other affordable accommodation for families, couples, and backpackers alike. There are numerous accommodation options across the city of Nagasaki, ranging from dingy motels to five-star hotels. Your budgets, as well as your taste, are what determine the type of accommodation that you will be comfortable with. This section will look into some of the accommodation options that are available for tourists to select from.
There are several eco-friendly hotels in the city. They have the same aim of sustainability of the environment. These hotels tend to offer safe, non-toxic, and energy-efficient accommodation. Other characteristics include using renewable energy, organic soaps, energy-efficient light fixtures, and recycling programs. A few of the most popular ones are:
- Hotel New Nagasaki
- Hotel Monterey Nagasaki
- Hotel Cuore Nagasaki Ekimae
- Hotel Wing Port Nagasaki
- Hotel Belleview Nagasaki Dejima
Hostels and Guest Houses
The city offers a luxurious yet comfortable stay to its guests but at affordable prices. Here are some comfortable and affordable guest-houses as well as hostels in the city. They are given below:
- HafH Nagasaki SAI
- Mezame Hostel
- Hostel Dockhouse
- Ofunakura wagaya 1
- Pension Minamiyamate Jubankan
For those who plan on staying in the city of Nagasaki for a long time, staying in hotels might prove to be a bit too expensive. Several apartments are hired out for a minimum of one month, and these are more budget-friendly as they reduce costs on several levels. For one, apartments allow for self-catering, which means that you get to save instead of having to buy all meals at hotels. If you stay as a group of friends or family, you can share the cost, unlike hotels that charge per head.
Couchsurfing has come in handy to help foreigners who are unable to cater to the high accommodation costs. There is no typical Couchsurfing host in Japan. Japan has a reputation as an expensive destination to visit, and, indeed, you can easily end up quickly burning through your cash if you're not careful. Members range from Japanese university students who want to practice their English to people who used Couchsurfing when they traveled abroad and now want to return the favor. Many hosts are foreign nationals working or studying in Japan, so if you're worried about the language barrier, you can just as easily stay with someone from America or England as with a local.
There are numerous campsites across the city of Nagasaki for those tourists who want to rough it by living outside during their vacation. Camping offers a sense of adventure as it allows people to get the full outdoor experience and can be quite affordable. Camping provides a great experience, including the fresh night air as well as the magnificent night skies.
Below are some of the more popular campsites in the city of Nagasaki:
- Kinkaiakamizu Park Camping Ground
- Kawaharaoike Park Camping Ground
- Yuinohama Camping Ground
- Prisoner of War Memorial Fukuoka 2B Pow Camp
- Kushimazaki Camping Ground
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to Nagasaki, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use airplanes.
Nagasaki airport has different terminals that cater to both international and local arrival and departures. Not all countries have a direct flight to Nagasaki airport, though, and people from such countries will need to catch a connecting flight from the main airport in Nagasaki.
Multiple bus companies offer inter-city travel, with the Willer Express buses being the most common. The buses provide both daytime and overnight transport to various cities. To reduce costs by getting discounts, you can use the Japan bus pass. Buses need to be booked in advance from the online website. Exceptions are long-distance bus services, buses in areas poorly served by rail though not many exist, and airport bus services for people with luggage.
Local trains are also a standard mode of inter-city transport. However, they are more suitable when traveling shorter journeys as they can get uncomfortable when traveling long distances. For example, traveling by train from the city is a 15-hour journey and involves changing into different trains.
Hitchhiking is quite a popular way of finding transport in Japan and is considered the key to budget travel. It is easier to hitchhike on expressways than anywhere else; it is also important to note that it is illegal to hitchhike near road crossings or bus stops. It is almost impossible to hitch out of the city of Nagasaki or any large Japanese city by waving your thumb. You have to find the places where drivers going out congregate, which in practice means service areas on the large toll expressways connecting Japan's major cities. As you might guess, service areas are larger and better equipped than parking areas, but surprisingly few Japanese are familiar with the difference. Hence, it's easier to label them all service areas.
It is home to the majority of Japan's automated bicycle systems and has several bicycle-sharing systems. A bicycle-sharing system is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short term basis for a price or free. Many bike share systems allow people to borrow a bike from a dock and return it to another dock belonging to the same system.
The transport network in Nagasaki includes public and private rail and highway networks, airports for international, domestic, buses, motorcycle delivery services, walking, bicycling, and commercial shipping. Nagasaki is a rather large city with many things to do and places to explore. Moving around the city is relatively easy regardless of the mode of transport that you use. You need to select the way of traveling that you are most comfortable with, and you will be fine. There are several ways to move around within the city, as will be shown below.
The city is too big for an individual to be able to cover it all on foot. However, some places are strategically located, walking distances away from each other, making it easy to walk to them; for example, there are restaurants next to most of the city's significant tourist hubs, enabling people to walk from one area to the other with ease.
Bicycles are a standard transport mode in Nagasaki as the city is one of the world’s best bicycle cities. The city is a great place to explore by bicycle as it is flat, the weather is usually good for cycling, and drivers are relatively sane. It is relatively easy for people to rent bikes either for the day, week, or month, to use as they move around the city. In some cases, you can even rent the bicycle from where you are staying.
Electronic vehicles are growing in popularity in Nagasaki, with the city having manufactured some of their own. You should try an electronic vehicle at least once in the city. They sometimes offer shared rides, which could make the journey more enjoyable.
There are many bus routes in Nagasaki City and its suburbs, which are serviced by multiple bus companies, although the two best are green local buses and red buses. Buses can be caught from any of the bus stations across the city. Buses are quite affordable and a reliable way of traveling as there is a bus on the hour every hour.
Tram, Train and Subway
Nagasaki has the most extensive urban railway network and the most used globally, with million passengers in the metro area daily, out of a metro population of 36 million. There are numerous interconnected rail stations in the city of Nagasaki Metropolis. Electronic trains and trams are also quite popular and effective ways of getting around the city. There are four tram lines in the city with trams that get to most of the tourist attractions.
Shops around Japan are implementing measures to become more environmentally friendly, replacing regular plastic items with recycled versions or alternative wooden or paper options. The environmental awareness trend and social pressure for more sustainable options have also created an incentive for Japan's companies to develop creative, sustainable solutions.
The popular snack Kit-Kat recently upgraded from their old plastic bag to a biodegradable paper bag, which also describes how to turn the paper packaging into an origami crane. As eco-friendly values become a more vital part of companies' strategies, more companies put a lot of effort into meeting the demand for their products to impact the environment negatively.
The cities best food markets can be found tucked deep underneath shopping centers, at monthly pop-up park events, and hidden away in traditional neighborhoods. The range of food markets in the city of Nagasaki is as diverse as the city's contemporary culinary scene, and there are places to cater to all sorts of niche tastes.
Some of the best food markets in the city include:
- Green grocery store GREEN GROCERY STORE
- Bejitari-an - Kencho Mae
- Fresh House
- Horibata Shokuryohinten
- Don Quijote
When people talk about flea markets, they could mean various things, from the housewives selling from boxes in the street to corner shops with classic and unique pieces such as jewelry. These markets are known for their reasonable prices and offering a chance to interact with locals. Some of these flea markets in the city of Nagasaki are:
- Nagasaki Dejima Wharf
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in the city of Nagasaki are:
- Off House
- 2nd Street
- Manga Warehouse Togitsu Shop
The city of Nagasaki truly has a vibrant and diverse shopping landscape. However, in recent years, fashion waste has become a serious issue, especially with the heaps of disposable clothing and accessories coming out of the fast fashion industry. Although this global problem is a tough one to tackle overnight, a select group of brands and shops in the city are heading in the right direction by focusing their attention on up-cycling.
In general, Japan has one of the highest plastic usage rates in the world, and in an attempt to keep the environment clean, recycling is taken seriously across the country. Things like metals and cardboard are also recycled in the city. There are specific trash days and color-coordinated bags to help you separate recyclable waste from the rest. Several guidelines should be followed to ensure that recycling is done correctly. Recycling is supposed to be placed in bags written in green ink, and it is collected once a week.
Waste disposal in the city of Nagasaki can be confusing, as there are different days for collecting different types of waste. There are guides and pictures in most city halls to help you understand your trash schedule and sorting. It is essential to put your trash in the correct color bag to avoid it being left behind.
Work and Study Abroad
There are not many job opportunities for foreigners in the city of Nagasaki. The city puts locals first when it comes to most employment opportunities. There are, however, a few gaps where foreigners can be hired, with the most popular being English teaching positions. There are many universities in the city, and it is considered one of the best student cities in the world, with one in ten people in the city being students.
There are tons of part-time jobs in Japan for foreigners in the tourism and service industries that do not require Japanese abilities. There are more companies than you might expect that hire foreigners, with some interesting positions like working at Nagasaki and go-kart drivers. Even if you cannot speak Japanese, You can find employment in Japan.
A Japanese exchange program may be an ideal opportunity to experience a life-changing adventure during your school years. By staying with a host family, foreign exchange programs to Japan may enable you to immerse yourself in a new culture and language. Japanese educational exchange participants typically live with a screened, local host family who provides you with two to three meals a day.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is relatively popular in the city of Nagasaki and is a great way to get a job for those intending to move to the city. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. Nagasaki is the most popular city in Japan to live and work in, given its extreme safety, convenience, status, and ability to meet other au pairs just like you! Like mentioned before, Facebook groups are the best way to reach out, connect, meet up, and explore with other expatriates around the city. You certainly will never find yourself feeling bored in this city. Typically, an au pair in Japan will not be required to pay rent, as their host family provides housing.
Volunteer work is always available in the city of Nagasaki. It can either be for disadvantaged communities or merely working for companies that cannot afford to pay you for your services. Most volunteer opportunities are in guest houses and come with accommodation and food. The good news for those of us English speakers is that some several opportunities, and NPOs can employ non-Japanese speakers, some of which we are uniquely suited for.
There are several voluntary organizations across the city of Nagasaki that are always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer to work with animals, children, and older people or even in the city's agricultural sector. Voluntary programs tend to run for anything between one week going up. Also, if you are interested in volunteering while visiting the city, several places are open to the idea.