Winter is never far away – or at least never out of mind – here in Nagano. With the past winter having come late but then refusing to call it quits, and ultimately blessing us with a massive amount of snow in early spring – we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of winter 2019/20!
While the first snowfall is still likely to be 6 months from now, the increasing popularity of Nagano’s more than 70 ski resorts means it’s best to start you planning early and book in your accommodation, transport and tours as early as possible to avoid being disappointed.
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator and we look forward welcoming many friends, both old and new, to our beautiful region this winter! All of our tours are led by locally-based, English-speaking guides who want to ensure the best possible experience for our guests. In short, we want to give you lots of reasons to visit us again and the best way to do so is to make sure you love your time in Nagano!
With that in mind, we are happy to announce the following tours in Nagano for winter 2019/20:
Our longest running and most popular tour – our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – operates every day in winter. This enjoyable daytrip takes you from JR Nagano Station to Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple before treating you to lunch and complementary ‘sake’-tasting at one of the city’s best restaurants – Monzen Terrace Enya – before heading to the world-famous Jigojudani Snow Monkey Park.
We have revised the order of this tour – first visiting the temple and then onto the Snow Monkey Park – to avoid the busiest times of day at both destinations, and thus ensure the best possible experience for our guests! A little local knowledge is always helpful when planning how best to do things!
Operating every day from December 12th until March 31st, our 1-Day Snow Monkey Winter Tour (from/to Hakuba) follows the same schedule as the above tour – temple, lunch and sake-tasting followed by monkeys – but starting and finishing at Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal. No trip to Nagano is complete without seeing the curious sight of the hot spring-bathing monkeys, so take a day off from the mountain, and let us treat you to a really enjoyable day out!
Our flexible tour schedule, starting and ending in Hakuba but with a second pick-up and drop-off at JR Nagano Station means that guests joining our Snow Monkey Winter Tour can choose different start and end points (if convenient). The ability to start in Hakuba but end in Nagano, or the reverse of starting in Nagano and ending in Hakuba, allows you to incorporate this tour into your travel plans as we transport you and your luggage from two of Nagano’s busiest winter hubs! To select this option simply choose your preferred pick-up and drop-off options on the tour booking menu.
For guests wanting to combine their visit to the Snow Monkeys with something a more energetic, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour combines a visit to the park in the morning with lunch at Hotaru-tei, before heading high above to Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen. Your guide will take you to enjoy the view at almost 2000 meters elevation and then to the resort’s central village of Ichinose, to enjoy a couple of hours mucking around in what locals claim is Nagano’s best powder snow. This tour will operate every day from December 22nd until January 5th, and then every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until March 20th 2020.
As Japan’s largest and highest resort, Shiga Kogen is blessed with the longest season in Nagano and lays claim to the best powder. Host of several events in the 1998 Winter Olympics and known for the reliability of its snow, Shiga’s popularity is quickly rising with international visitors and Snow Monkey Resorts is proud to offer a range of ski packages including accommodation, all-mountain lift passes, transport and other options starting every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday from December 22nd until March 20th. Let us take the hassle out of your winter adventure so you can concentrate on the fun stuff!
We are also happy to announce the following special event tours:
Though it is Nagano’s newest festival, the Zenko-ji Omotesando Illumination promises to become one of its favorites, and from December 15th until December 25th we are happy to be operating our new 1-Day Snows Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination Tour. Combining an afternoon visit to the Snow Monkey Park and evening attendance of the illumination – when the city’s famous temple is awash with light – this tour includes lunch at Hotaru-tei and dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya – guaranteed to keep you warm and inspired in the chill winter night!
For guests wanting to get more than just warm and literally set the night alight, our 1-Day Nozawa Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour transports you to the Snow Monkey Park and an early dinner before reaching the ski resort village of Nozawa Onsen, to witness one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. This raucous local affair is known throughout Japan and wildly popular with international visitors who flock to the village to see another side of Japan – its wild burning heart. Including pick-up and drop-off in both Hakuba and Nagano City, this is a one-day only event on January 15th 2020.
Want something a little different and just for you? Snow Monkey Resorts offers both private tours including an English-speaking guide and private transport – fully customizable to your needs, itinerary, and interests – along with charters including a private driver and vehicle to and from any destinations of your choice.
Can’t find the combined group tour you’re looking for? No problem! Just get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, let us know what you’re after and we’ll get back to you!
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Nagano this winter!