Riding The Nagasaki Electric Tramway

Nagasaki Electric Tramway tram The Real Japan Rob Dyer

The Nagasaki Electric Tramway

The Nagasaki Electric Tramway is a private tram (streetcar) system running on public streets in Nagasaki, on the island of Kyushu.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for travelling by tram – wherever in the world I happen to be.

Not only does Nagasaki have a comprehensive tram network stretching north, south, east and west, but the trams add immeasurably to the retro charm of this too often overlooked city.

 

Nagasaki tram The Real Japan Rob Dyer
Trams passing at a stop in the city centre

 

The company was founded on August 2, 1914, while the tram line was opened on November 16, 1915. The company and the lines are commonly known as Nagasaki Electric Railway (長崎電鉄 Nagasaki Dentetsu).

There are five routes regularly in service over one or more lines. Route 2, however, only runs once a day late at midnight.

The current fare is ¥120 for adults and ¥60 for school aged children. The fare is a flat rate.

Related: 5 Days In Kyushu Itinerary

 

How To Ride A Tram on the Nagasaki Electric Tramway

View from inside one of the older trams

 

1.) Board from the rear door
2.) Press button to disembark when approaching your desired stop
3.) Disembark from front door
4.) Insert exact fare into fare box on exit

Note: Fare boxes do not provide change. You must use the correct fare. However, money changers are provided inside all trams. Note: the larger ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 bills are not accepted.

Alternatively, you can pay using a One Day Pass or smart card.

Related: How To Travel In Japan Without Speaking Japanese

 

Line Guide & Routes

Nagasaki tram The Real Japan Rob Dyer
Nagasakieki-mae stop in front of Nagasaki Train Station

 

The trams run on 5 lines (although one of the lines – route 2 – runs only once at midnight or on special event days).

Each route is colour-coded, and as well as names, all stops are numbered making it easy to identify trams, lines and stops. There is a number sign on the board at every stop, circled in the route colour.

■ Route 1 (Blue): Akasako — Sumiyoshi — Nagasaki-Ekimae — (Dejima) — Tsukimachi — Nishihamanomachi — Shōkakuji-shita

■ Route 2 (White): Akasako — Sumiyoshi — Nagasaki-Ekimae — (Dejima) — Tsukimachi — Nishihamanomachi — Kōkaidō-mae — Hotarujaya

■ Route 3 (Red): Akasako — Sumiyoshi — Nagasaki-Ekimae — (Sakuramachi) — Kōkaidō-mae — Hotarujaya

■ Route 4 (Yellow): Hotarujaya — Kōkaidō-mae — Nishihamanomachi — Shōkakuji-shita

■ Route 5 (Green): Hotarujaya — Kōkaidō-mae — Nishihamanomachi — Tsukimachi — Ishibashi

 

Back Roads of Japan

One-Day Pass

Nagasaki tram One Day Pass The Real Japan Rob Dyer
One-Day Pass

 

The Nagasaki Electric Tramway Company sells a One-Day pass costs ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for children, providing unlimited use between 6:10am and 11:40pm on all lines.

Given that the regular single ride fare is ¥120 and ¥60 respectively, you need to make 5 rides or more for it to offer better value. Five rides is easy in a day of sightseeing in Nagasaki.

One-Day passes cannot be purchased on trams – you have to buy in advance from Tourist Information Centre located on the ground floor of JR Nagasaki Station. Passes are for individual use only – they cannot be shared.

You can download a handy, printable PDF guide to Riding Nagasaki Trams here.

 

Sightseeing by Tram

Nagasaki tram Peace Statue Peace Park The Real Japan Rob Dyer
Peace Statue, Nagasaki Peace Park

 

Nagasaki is well-suited to sightseeing by tram. All the lines, excluding Route 2, stop near major sights and the main tourist areas are also well-served.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular sites (in alphabetical order) and the tram lines serving them:

Glover Garden – Line 5

Hashima Island (aka Gunkanjima) – Ferry temrinal access via Line 1

Meganebashi (‘spectacles’ bridge) – Lines 3 and 5

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum – Lines 1 and 3

Nagasaki Peace Memorial for Atomic Bomb Victims – Lines 1 and 3

Nagasaki Peace Park – Lines 1 and 3

Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum – Line 5

Ropeway for Mt. Inasa – Lines 1 and 3

Suwa Shrine – Lines 3, 4 and 5

Urakami Cathedral – Lines 1 and 3

Honestly, whether you are a fan of trams or not, you only need a One-Day Pass and your feet to see pretty much everything Nagasaki city has to offer. If Nagasaki isn’t already on your must-visit list, I strongly recommend adding it.

Back Roads of Japan

 

Have you ever ridden on the Nagasaki Electric Tramway, or a tram anywhere else in Japan? If so where? Please tell me about it by leaving a comment below – I love trams!

 


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TRJ - Resources

 

Getting Around Nagasaki (Official Visit Nagasaki website)

You can download a handy, printable PDF guide to Riding Nagasaki Trams here.

Related: 5 Days In Kyushu Itinerary

Related: How To Travel In Japan Without Speaking Japanese

Back Roads of Japan (inc. Nagasaki) 10 day Tour

 

Location Map – Nagasakiekimae Stop (Tram lines 1, 2, and 3):
(In front of Nagasaki Train Station)

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