Have you ever walked in pink clouds? If your answer is no, let us put this dream in your hands, because Nagayo City in Nagasaki, welcomes everyone from late March to early April, to a cherry blossom (sakura) pink universe. Go through a walking path that will let all visitors feel the joy of the spring season.
Just a few minutes away from Nagayo Station, Nakao Castle Park welcomes all hiking lovers with more than 530 cherry blossom trees.
With a trail that seems like it’s out of a dream, the whole Nakao mountain is covered in different species of cherry blossom trees, from the “shidare sakuras,” that look a lot like a cheerful pink weeping willow; to the “yama sakuras” or literally cherry blossom of the mountain, with their delicate soft pink (almost white) color, that makes anyone feel like they are walking through a pink colored cloud.
“Yama sakura” arranged with little Chinese lamps for the light up.
Different specimens of cherry blossom.
Walking by the entrance of the park, the main focus of the area is a gigantic red iron structure; this construction functions as a bridge, with a length of 100m and 1.5m wide. Use it to cross over from the middle part of the mountain to a neighboring elevation where the parking lot is located. It’s also used to support the frame of an amazing spiral slide.
If the chance arises, when coming back the mountain, take this path just to to enjoy the spectacular view; it’s an amazing landscape.
Another attraction famous in the area would be the giant spiral slide 26m high; it’s about the height of a seven-story building, and can be enjoyed by both adults and children, as long as they are at least 1.35m tall in height. Why don’t you give it a try? It is quite safe because it allows you to regulate the speed by yourself. Just remember that for safety reasons, it’s prohibited to stop in the middle.
At the top of the spiral, an employee from the park is there to ensure safety first, and help everyone enjoy their time without any incident.
Bottom of the spiral slide.
One of the big advantages of this location, is that for the convenience of senior citizens and families with babies or little kids, Nakao Castle Park has a little monorail.
This curious transport is a blessing, because if you’re short on time, for a small fee of 100 yen, it’ll take you in a round trip halfway through the mountain, just where the path of blooming trees begins.
Halfway through the mountain and its walking path, stands the Nagayo Town City Hall, a circle-like structure that hosts special exhibitions and events occasionally.
In front of the Nagayo City Hall, a small slope of the mountain has been adapted as a grass slide for children to enjoy. For a small fee of 210 yen, they can go up and down as many times as they want in a one hour time limit.
At the top of Nakao mountain, your efforts will be rewarded with an amazing view of the rebuilt site of the Nakao castle.
Let your imagination fly through time and enjoy the same strategic view of the area that the lord of the Nakao castle had.
While hiking through the little paths open in the mountain, you can have the amazing experience of having the cherry blossoms at the reach of your hands.
Here is a little tip on Japanese culture for the cherry blossom viewing; “hanami” is a practice that is deeply imbued in Japanese hearts, it’s part of the wabisabi philosophy, so try to avoid under any circumstance, cutting out the blooms from the branches.
The great advantage of this beautiful location is that, because you have a whole mountain, this place is a must, for the traditional “hanami.”
This area welcomes families, so it has a very spacious parking lot with 120 spaces; from the base and all the way to the top, there are toilet services, picnic tables, a few vending machines with soft drinks, and benches.
Cherry blossom viewing is like a picnic, focus on enjoying nature while relaxing; everyone, children or seniors can enjoy their time surrounded by this wonderful view.
Directions from Nagasaki City Station: take the local JR line and get off five stops later in the Nagayo City Station; it’s a 16 minutes trip, and according to the JR page, costs about 260 yen. There, exit by the main doors and go straight, cross over the river, and continue in the same direction for about 500 meters until you see the park gates. Its about a three minute walk from one point to the other, if slightly up the hill.
You do not have to stress out too much, because there are local trains from both Nagasaki and Nagayo stations scheduled every hour. However, we still recommend to look out for the holiday schedules. If you wish to visit multiple places in the area, you can save on the train fares if you have a JR Kyushu Rail Pass. For more information, please visit the official web page of JR in English.
|Name||Nakao Castle Park|
|Category||Nature, Sightseeing, Park|
|Address||61-1 Yoshimutago, Nagayo-cho, Nishisonogi-gun, Nagasaki-prefecture|
|Access||[map]61-1 Yoshimutago, Nagayo-cho, Nishisonogi-gun, Nagasaki-prefecture[/map]|
|Opening Hours||From April to October: from 09:00 to 21:00 ※ light up - yes. From November to March: from 09:00 to 18:00. Holidays: from December 28 - January 1.|
|Price Range||Entrance is free. The monorail and the spiral slide cost a small fee.|