Cute, charming and above all affordable, Nagasaki's trams are easy to use and even easier to enjoy.
Where to go
Nagasaki is an easy city to travel around, with most of the attractions it is famous for accessible by tram. There are four colour-coded tram lines, with a fifth one (Tram Line 2) used only on special occasions.
- Tram Line 1 (blue) will take you from Akasako to Sofukuji Temple. The Peace Park, Mount Inasyama and Dejima are all worth visiting on this line.
- Tram Line 3 (red) will take you from Akasako to Hotarujaya. Suwa Jinja Shrine and the Seibold Museum are popular destinations along this line.
- Tram Line 4 (yellow) links Sofukuji Temple with Hotarujaya, with the Megane Bridge and Kofukuji Temple well known attractions.
- Tram Line 5 (green) connects Ishibashi to Hotarujaya. The picturesque Dutch Slope and the culturally vibrant Chinatown are all accessible on this line.
Any tram line map will have further examples of what you can visit and via which line and station
While you can travel almost anywhere along the four main tram lines without having to change trams, to transfer between Tram Lines 1 & 5 you will have to use the interchange station, Tsukimachi.
Tip: go over your tram map. It really does have everything you need to know.
Fares and tickets
The Nagasaki tram fare system is simple: 120 yen will get you a single ride, no matter the distance or number of stops. An even better deal is to pick up a 500 yen One-Day Pass giving you unlimited travel for that day.
Tip: buy a One-Day Pass. Seriously.
How to get a One-Day Pass
Passes can be purchased from numerous places, the easiest being the JR Nagasaki Station, the Nagasaki Tourist Information Centre, as well as from many hotels. The one used for my trip came from the APA Hotel Nagasaki Ekimae. A full list (in Japanese) of locations can be found here. Do note that you cannot purchase a pass on board a tram.
Boarding and alighting
Board the tram from the rear door and alight from the front. When you get off, pay the driver your fare or show your One-Day Pass. If you are changing trams at Tsukimachi, ask for an interchange ticket so as to avoid paying twice when you board your next tram. Show that driver the ticket when you alight. Of course, a One-Day Pass makes that all redundant.
Tip: if you don’t want to worry about fares, buy the One-Day Pass. Yes, it is that convenient.
Riding the trams in Nagasaki is easy. Buy your One-Day Pass, read your map, know where you want to go and Nagasaki will be all yours.