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[Spring Only] 1-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEY & CHERRY BLOSSOM IN NAGANO

[Spring Only] 1-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEY & CHERRY BLOSSOM IN NAGANO

Period

Apr 5 to Apr 25

Time

9:35 - 18:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 15,500 JPY
Child (6-12) 11,000 JPY

Highlights

  • Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique
  • Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and experience Nagano’s renowned food culture
  • Spend an afternoon wandering beneath the cherry blossoms and experience the Japanese tradition ‘hanami’ or ‘flower viewing’ as we take you to some of Nagano’s best blossom sites, each selected for the quality of their bloom on the day of your tour

 

Description

 

This tour combines a visit to the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with an afternoon of cherry blossom-viewing at some of Nagano’s best blossom sites. Known as ‘sakura’ in Japanese, the stunning flowers are a must-see for any visitor in spring, with Nagano’s countless blossom trees coming into bloom later than other areas – the perfect activity to combine with your visit to the Snow Monkeys!

 

This seasonal tour is limited, operating between April 5th and 25th 2020.

 

Located in the cooler, mountainous region of northern Nagano, cherry blossoms tend to bloom later in this region than those in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto. Every year, the blossoms normally come into bloom from middle of April. Nagano is not as famous as aforementioned cities 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 & cherry blossoms on the same day, this tour is perfect for you.

 

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The tour begins at JR Nagano Station at 9:35, where your English-speaking guide (who will be waiting for you from 9:20) will greet you and quickly have you on your way out of Nagano and headed toward the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Arriving nearby the park, your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads you to the Jigokudani Valley – rather dramatically translating to `Hell`s Valley`. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.

 

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Spring is a great time to visit the park as expecatant mothers give birth from mid-April to late-May, with up to 20 to 30 babies welcomed into the troop every year. It’s an adorable and endearing sight to see, as the large glassy eyes of the newborns look-out at their world for the first time, often with intense curiosity about the human visitors in the park!

 

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From there it’s time to head to lunch as your guide accompanies you to a nearby restaurant to enjoy Nagano’s renowned food culture. Your guide is always happy to talk food as you relax and get ready for the afternoon’s activity – ‘hanami’.

 

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‘Hanami’ or ‘flower viewing’ plays a central role in Japanese culture, and there is no flower is more synonymous with this beautiful country more than the cherry blossom. Known as ‘sakura’ in Japanese, the fleeting bloom of these stunning flowers each spring is seen as symbolic of the fragility and passing beauty of life.

 

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We monitor a variety of sites – some famous, some secret and local – and chose those in the best condition of bloom on the day of your tour. Each spot has its own unique atmosphere, variety of trees and types of blossoms – endearing this tour, perhaps more than any other, with its own uniqueness as venues varying from one day to the next. But rest assured, you won’t be left disappointed as we select the best possible sites including Ueda Castle Park, Suzaka Garyu Park, Kokugonji Temple –  just to mention a few!

 

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As the afternoon draws to a close your guide will have you board the tour bus and begin your journey back to Nagano Station, where the tour is scheduled to conclude between 17:30-18:30*.

 

*Tours will end at slightly different times depending on the chosen location for each day’s blossom-viewing. We monitored the blooming of the flowers in order to select the best possible location for each day’s tour.

ITINERARY

09:35 Meet at Nagano station directly in front of the Shinkansen exit at the information board towards the East Exit. Our guide will be there by 9:20. Once all guests have arrived you will head toward the Snow Monkey Park.
10:50 Walk along the forest trail (approximately 25-30 minutes) into the Snow Monkey Park where you will have the chance to observe the monkeys in close proximity.
12:20 Meetup with your guide and walk back out of the park along the forest trail.
13:00 Enjoy lunch at a restaurant nearby the park
13:45 Leave the lunch restaurant and head toward the day's chosen location for cherry blossom viewing
We monitor the blooming of the cherry blossoms at a variety of sites and select the best location to view them for each tour, meaning that the location will vary from day-to-day but is always selected to give guests the best possible experience!
17:30-18:30 Arrival back to Nagano Station where the tour concludes.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded

  • Bullet train tickets

 

Other Information

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
  • Newborn babies typically appear in the park from mid-April onward. We cannot however guarantee that babies will be present in the park on the day of your tour.
  • Blossom-viewing sites are selected upon which is in best condition on the day of the tour. Chosen site/s for an individual tour cannot therefore be confirmed until the morning of that tour.
  • In the case that the cherry blossoms are not in bloom at any of the above-mentioned sites on the day of the tour, we will instead take you to the Zenko-ji Temple and Sake brewery. In that case, we will notify you of the change in itinerary 3 days in advance.
  • Infants (0-5) is free of charge. A infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
  • The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

FAQ

What time should I get on the bullet train to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables for the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *

Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama

Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka

* You can still take 07:52 – 09:30 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight to there.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 19:03 – Tokyo: 20:23 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 19:08 – Tokyo: 20:52 – Asama

Nagano: 19:38 – Tokyo: 21:16 – Hakutaka

 

 

I am staying in Yudanaka/Shibu/Kanbayashi, can I join the tour?

For guests staying in Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen or Kanbayashi Onsen, it is possible to join the tour in those areas rather than traveling to JR Nagano Station. Guests staying in Yudanaka and Shibu can meet the tour at Yudanaka Station while guests staying in Kanbayashi Onsen can meet the tour at Enza Cafe in Kanbayashi. This will change the tour start time. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to arrange one of these meeting points.

 

RESERVATION
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