FROM MYOKO: HOW TO GET TO THE SNOW MONKEY PARK
Myoko is a beautiful region in the southern tip of Niigata Prefecture, bordering Nagano, which perhaps does not have the profile of other nearby ski regions for international visitors but is quickly gaining in popularity. Blessed with natural beauty and huge annual snowfall – an outrageous 13 meters per year! – Myoko is home to several resorts with some of the longest ski runs in Japan.
‘Myoko Kogen’ is the most popular destination however does not exist as a single resort in itself. It is instead a conglomeration of different resorts including Myoko Akakura, Myoko Suginohara, Seki Onsen, and Ikenotaira Onsen serviced by a shuttle bus. The region offers some of the best powder in Japan, great off-piste runs and long vertical. Less developed than nearby resorts such as Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen, Myoko doesn’t offer the nightlife of other resorts however if you’re priority is days of deep powder runs, Myoko is the place for you!
Visiting the Snow Monkey Park from Myoko
Accessing the Snow Monkey Park from Myoko Kogen takes a little time but is easy enough to navigate. From Myoko Kogen Station take the Shinano Kitashinano Line to JR Nagano Station. The ride takes about 45 minutes and costs JPY830. Train times are somewhat irregular and can be accessed here.
Once at Nagano, you have two choices to reach the Snow Monkey Park – train/local bus or express bus.
2a. To access the train, exit Nagano Station via the Zenkoji Exit and head underground to the Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) train line. You need to head to JR Yudanaka Station (the final stop on the line), which is serviced by both local – 60 to 70 minutes and JPY1160 – and express trains – approximately 50 minutes and JPY1260. The schedule can be found here. Once at Yudanaka, it is only a 10 minute bus ride to Kanbayashi Onsen, just down the hill from the Snow Monkey park entrance. These buses depart the station regularly and station staff can assist you boarding the correct bus.
2b. Nagaden also operates express buses that run directly from JR Nagano Station to Kanbayashi Onsen – approximately 55 minutes and JPY 1400 each way. Buses can be accessed via the station’s East Exit and operate from Stop 23 (to your left as you descend the stairs). The bus schedule varies significantly between seasons and can be viewed through our access information.
Book a Private Snow Monkey Tour from Myoko
For those wanting to take the stress and hassle out of their trip and turn their visit to the park into a more informative and fun experience with the insight and knowledge of a guide, private tours from Myoko can be customized to your need including pick-up and drop-off directly at your accommodation. Private tours are designed to meet the needs and interests of guest, typically combining a visit to the monkey park with lunch at a nearby restaurant, and a cultural exploration of other famous local destinations led by an English-speaking guide.