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Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

1. 1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

Enjoy a day out playing on the slopes of Shiga Kogen. Sample delicious Japanese or Western food for lunch and capture unforgettable pictures of the adorable snow monkeys of Jigokudani. Meet your guide at Nagano or Yudanaka station. Board the tour bus and head straight to the mountains of Shiga Kogen, Japan and Asia's largest and highest ski resort. Upon arrival, spend 1.5 hours enjoying the snow. Whizz down the mountain on a snowscoot, snowdrive, sled, or tube. After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at a restaurant adjoining the ski slopes. Choose from a daily menu of traditional Japanese fare and Western favorites. After lunch, board the tour vehicle for the short journey out of the mountains and onto the Snow Monkey Park. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, the monkeys of Jigokudani have achieved global fame and observing them going about their monkey business is a real treat.  Finally, return to the station after a snow-filled adventure that promises to leave a lasting impression. 

Nozawa: Full-Day Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour on Jan 15

2. Nozawa: Full-Day Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour on Jan 15

Your tour begins with pickup from one of two locations: Hakuba’s Happo Bus Terminal at 11:45 AM or JR Nagano Station at 1 PM. After meeting your guide, you’ll hit the road and head towards Yamanouchi, home to the only hot spring-bathing monkeys in the world, Japanese snow monkeys.  After arriving near the monkey park area at 2 PM, your guide will lead you along a snow-covered forest trail to the park itself. Found deep inside Jigokudani, or “Hell’s Valley”, your guide will explain the history and importance of the park and give you plenty of time to enjoy the unique experience of observing the snow monkeys in close proximity. Then enjoy an early dinner at a nearby restaurant where you’ll learn all about Nagano’s renowned food culture. Next, you’ll head to Nozawa Onsen, where you’ll witness one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. After arriving at around 6 PM, you’ll have ample time to explore the village before the main event begins. Preparations start at 7 PM with singing, drumming, fireworks, and more. Then it’s time for the main event, during which the town will converge on a wooden shrine. Fueled by tradition, bravado, and drinking, the mock battle takes place with an explosion of embers. After the gods have been deemed happy and ready to bless the villagers with good luck, harvest, and happiness, the shrine will be set on fire at 10 PM.  At 10:45 PM you’ll regroup with your guide at the designated meeting point and be transported back to your original pickup point.

Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

3. Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

This tour takes you from JR Nagano Station to the world-famous Jigokudani snow monkeys and to some of the most beloved cherry blossom viewing spots in Nagano. Seeing the blooming cherry blossoms (called hanami in Japanese) is one of the most Japanese things one can do whilst being in the land of the rising sun. Located in a chilly, mountainous region, northern Nagano’s blossoms start blooming later than those in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto. Every year, the blossoms normally come into bloom from the middle of April. Nagano is not as famous as an aforementioned city but has many lovely places where you can see the brightly colored flowers. If you wish to get off the beaten track and see the wild monkeys and cherry blossoms on the same day, this tour is perfect for you. First, you will be taken to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where you can observe the wild Japanese macaques at an incredibly close distance. April is generally the month when newborn babies arrive to the Jigokudani monkey troop. Usually there are 20 to 30 babies born every spring, and it’s endearing to see the newborns taking their first step and climb. After being filled by a Japanese lunch, the tour will take you to the hanami spots where cherry blossoms can be seen. The spots are selected depending on the degree of bloom of the blossoms on the tour date. Each spot has different types of cherry blossoms with overall more than 500 to 1000 sakura trees. Experience the yearly tradition to welcome spring in full. After enjoying the cherry blossoms, you will be taken to the train that takes you back to JR Nagano Station. The tour is scheduled to conclude at JR Nagano Station by 6:30 PM. Don’t miss this special opportunity to witness Japan’s beautiful spring.

Other Sightseeing Options in Jigokudani Monkey Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Jigokudani Monkey Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Jigokudani Monkey Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 68 reviews

The excursion was worth the day trip from Tokyo!

The drive up to the snow monkeys was interesting as I had never been to Nagano before, the walk to the snow monkeys was a beautiful walk, just make sure you have proper shoes for the half hour trek. Lots of monkeys out on the day. Lunch was exceptional, typical Japanese bento box style, something for everyone. The snow time play was the best! The guide we had was so great, he worked hard the whole time to make sure we were having fun, even gave my son some instruction on the equipment which made it more enjoyable for him. It was a great introduction to skiing in Japan and we will be back next year!

Loved this tour. The guide was excellent. He was great with everyone and particularly with the younger kids and teenagers. Given that there isn't a lot of time available, he certainly gave our kids enough guidance to make their snow activities worthwhile and enjoyable. This tour was a great way to see the adorable snow monkeys and the Shiga Kogen ski area if you only have a few days in the region.

How about one word - awesome!

Guides were great very informative and chill. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, we hung out with monkeys til we were ready to leave. No pressure to get going as we had to keep a schedule. Cherry blossoms were just beautiful. I can't get enough of them.

Excellent value tour!

We felt well taken care of. Lunch was superb. There was clothing equipment rental for the unprepared. The timing of activities was excellent. We all had a fantastic time in our group!

Excellent one day Nagano tour.

Quick and easy booking. Reasonable price and value. Very courteous and helpful tour guide.