Japan loves lists, so it’s not a surprise that you’ll find lists for almost everything.
For visitors this is perfect as it saves a lot of work! There are the “Top 3 Views of Japan“, “Top 3 Gardens in Japan” etc.
Today, I want to introduce the best night views in Japan according to the “official list”. They’re called “Sandaiyakei” (三大夜景, Three Great Night Views).
Best Night Views in Japan #1: Nagasaki – Mt. Inasa
From the summit (333 m) of Mt. Inasa (稲佐山) you’ll have a lovely view of Nagasaki’s waterfront area in Kyushu (map).
This photo wasn’t taken at the top of Mt. Inasa, but from Glover Garden. The view is about the same, just that you’re even higher above the ocean. I just don’t have any good night shots from the top of Mt. Inasa, but Wikipedia has.
Access to Mt. Inasa:
Mt. Inasa can be reached by ropeway.
Alternatively you can go up by taxi (~ 15 mins, 2000 yen) from Nagasaki Station or by bus (1-2 per hour, 15 mins, 150 yen). If you take the bus, you’ll still have to walk for about 15 mins to reach the observation platform.
Best Night Views in Japan #2: Kobe – Mt. Maya
The night view from the top (698 m) of Mt. Maya (摩耶山) is called “Ten Million Dollar Night View” (1000万ドルの夜景, Issenmandoru no yake).
Mt. Maya is part of the Rokko Mountains in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture (map). From the three night view locations introduced in this article, this is probably the easiest to access as it can be done as an evening trip from Osaka.
I’m sorry for the crappy photo quality, but it’s really a breathtaking sight. You can see Kobe and Osaka Bay.
Access to Mt. Maya:
There are many options. You could even walk from Shin-Kobe Station!
Most people will probably use the Maya Cable Car. The cable car station can be reached by Kobe City Bus #18.
Best Night Views in Japan #3: Hakodate – Mt. Hakodate
The night view from the summit (334 m) of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) probably impressed me the most because of the unique shape of the peninsula on which most of central Hakodate is located (Hokkaido, map).
Access to Mt. Hakodate:
You can reach the top of Mt. Hakodate by ropeway, bus or taxi.
More details and photos can be found in my blog post about Mount Hakodate.
Other Great Night Views in Japan:
What I just introduced were the original great night views in Japan.
I cannot say anything about these night views as I haven’t been there after dark. Maybe some of you have?
Japan has a lot of great night views, I especially love those where you have a huge lake or even the ocean in the foreground.
I remember I enjoyed the night view from Miyajima and from Mt. Fuji a lot as well.
What’s your favorite night view in Japan?
Let me know in the comments below!~