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2-DAY KANAZAWA TO NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS & TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE

2-DAY KANAZAWA TO NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS & TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE

Period

Tues & Fri / Apr - Nov

Time

(Day 1) 08:30-(Day 2) 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Kanazawa Station

Price

Adult (13+) 55,000 JPY
Child (6-12) 38,500 JPY

Highlights:

  • Experience of one Japan`s most iconic sights – the immense Snow Walls of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route and witness the dramatic mountain landscape of the Chubu Sangaku National Park.
  • Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique
  • Explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples, and home to the first known Buddhist statue to be brought to Japan.
  • Enjoy Nagano’s renowned food culture – with lunch included on Day 2 – and sample some of the region’s acclaimed ‘sake’ with a tasting and learning experience all led by your guide (non-alcoholic options also available)
  • Accommodation in Nagano at one of the city’s premier hotels, Hotel Kokusai 21
  • Be transported between two popular destination cities – Kanazawa and Nagano – with pickup and drop-off at their respective Shinkansen stations.

 

*This tour is limited to groups of 2 people and more.

 

Description:

 

Starting from Kanazawa and concluding in Nagano City this 2-day tour takes you to the “Roof of Japan” via the fabled Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route on Day 1 and onto Zenko-ji – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan – and finally, the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani on Day 2. All led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide this immersive 2-day tour unlocks the dramatic and wild heart of Japan, with of course a typical touch of tranquility and the sublime.

 

Day 1

 

Your English-speaking guide will meet you at Kanazawa Station at 08:30 (the guide will be waiting from 08:20 onward) and have you board the tour bus and being your journey toward the fabled Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. Known as the “Roof of Japan”, the route passes through a dramatic mountain landscape of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, home to the iconic Snow Walls. Rising to up to 20 meters in height, the corridor cut through the snow is one of Japan`s most impressive and iconic sights.

 

Arriving at Tateyama Station around 10:30 your guide will give you time to prepare for your ascent before boarding the Tateyama Cable Car at 11:00 – the first of a variety of mountain transports you will utilize to reach the summit, Murodo Station.

 

tateyama kurobe route

 

At 2450 meters, this is Japan`s highest station – an isolated outpost in an inhospitable, dramatic landscape.Vast amounts of snow fall on the landscape each winter making it inaccessible until spring brings warming temperatures and the chance to carve a route through the ice. Rising up to 20 meters above, the stunning snow corridor is one of Japan`s most iconic sights dwarfing people and tours buses alike! Your guide will allow you between 1.5-2 hours to stroll the area (depending on the pace of your), including time to explore the museum and surrounding area.

 

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Between 14:15-14:45 our guide will collect you and have you board the Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus to begin the journey down toward Ogisawa via the Daikanbo and Kurobedaira stations. A highlight of this section of your tour is the Tateyama Ropeway. Spanning 1700 meters, the ropeway affords amazing views of the surrounding alpine landscape as you quickly descend toward Kurobe Dam, via Kurobedaira.

 

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Arriving at Ogisawa station at around 16:20 your tour bus will be waiting for you and your guide will get you onboard and on your way toward Nagano with the tour scheduled to conclude with drop-off at your accommodation, Hotel Kokusai 21, at 18:30*. As one of Nagano City’s most established and international hotels, Hotel Kokusai 21 is conveniently located within easy walking distance of the city’s restaurants and entertainment area, and prides itself on its many in-house services and English-speaking staff.

 

hotel kokusai lobbykokusai 21 superior_twin

 

Day 2

 

Having enjoyed breakfast at your hotel, your guide will meet you in the lobby at 9:10 and from there head to Zenko-ji. As a registered National Treasure, the temple is the most important cultural site in Nagano and one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in the entire country! A place of true historic importance, full of legends and myths, you will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and food by yourself.

 

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano cityツアー写真(猿以外)_180802_0172

 

It`s then time for lunch! Depending on the time of year we use different restaurants, each serving cuisine highlighting the best of Nagano`s renowned food culture. From delicious and warming beef, chicken, or vegetarian hot pot in the winter months, to mixed sushi plates and Nagano-style chicken or seasonal grilled vegetables through spring to autumn, your guide will assure you are well fed and ready to indulge in some ‘sake’*.

 

tour lunch 4

 

Home to a huge number of breweries, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s acclaimed sake (non-alcoholic options also available).

 

Well-fed and warmed by sake it`s time to head-out of Nagano, as you are transported to the Snow Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads to the park and into Jigokudani . 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.

 

snow monkeys in bath snowSnow Monkeys_180521_0227

 

Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity. Your guide will then accompany back along the trail and soon have you heading back toward Nagano, the perfect time to sit back, relax, and look through all those monkey photos before the tour returns to JR Nagano Station and concludes at approximately 17:30.

 

*Please note that all listed times are estimates of the expected itinerary and can be affected by weather and traffic conditions and peak busy periods.

ITINERARY

Day1 08:30 Meet-up with your guide at JR Kanazawa Station (your guide will be waiting for you at the meeting point from 8:20) and begin your journey toward Tateyama.
10:30 Arrive at Tateyama Station, gateway to the Tateyama Alpen Route. Get off the tour bus and prepare to begin your ascent to the alpine pass. Board the cable car around 11:00 and begin your ascent toward the summit.
12:30 Arrive at Murodo and the stunning Snow Walls. Your guide will give you 1.5-2 hours to enjoy this iconic sight before meeting-up to begin your descent toward Ogisawa.
14:15 Begin your descent by the tunnel trolley bus toward Daikanbo and transfer to the Tateyama Ropeway, offering stunning views of the alpine landscape as you head down toward Kurobedaira, and onto the cable car toward the Kurobe Dam.
16:20 Expected arrival time at Ogisawa Station where the tour bus will be waiting to transport you to Nagano, where the tour conludes at your hotel at approximately 18:30.
Day2 09:10 Meet-up with your guide in the lobby of Hotel Kokusai 21 at head to Zenko-ji Temple.
10:00 Arrive at Zenko-ji and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.
11:30 Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by sake tasting. You will depart Nagano around 13:00 and arrive near the monkey park around 14:00, with your guide leading you along the forest trail into the park.
14:40 Arrive at the park and enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives. Your guide will collect you around 15:40 to head back along the trail before beginning the journey back to Nagano.
17:30 Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

NOTES

Included:

  • All transportation fees from Kanazawa Nagano and between activities/attractions
  • Ticket (including all transport) for the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
  • Accommodation on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2)
  • Entry to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
  • Lunch – Day 2 (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • Sake tasting
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Lunch on Day 1
  • Dinner on Day 1 and Day 2
  • Accommodation on Day 2
  • Other food, snacks and drinks
  • Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple
  • Bullet train tickets
  • Accommodation

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes and clothing for alpine walking and cold conditions.
  • The Snow Walls are located at 2400 meters above sea level and weather can change quickly. Please ensure you have clothing suitable for changing conditions including rain and cooler temperatures (5 to 21℃).
  • Please bring sunglasses as the snow in combination with sunlight can produce intense glare.
  • The itinerary is based on the traffic conditions being optimal. We will adjust the schedule according to traffic conditions and pace of the group on the day of the tour.
  • In case of extreme weather conditions, routes to the snow corridor might close. In such a case, the tour will be cancelled with full refund.
  • This tour does not include lunch on Day 1. Please ensure you pack some food and drink with your for the journey to the alpine pass and/or money to purchase basic food on the day.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • 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.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge. An 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 Kanazawa Station

(TW) JR金澤站

FAQ

Which train service should I use to arrive in Kanazawa on time?

We recommend arriving in Kanazawa on the day before the tour as services from major centers such as Osaka and Kyoto will not arrive on-time in the morning, and services from Nagoya requiring users to change trains several times over a very long journey. The following shinkansen service from JR Nagano Station will arrive on-time to join the tour however for guests coming from Nagano we suggest booking our tours starting from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Kanazawa Station:

Nagano: 06:11 – Kanazawa: 07:38 – Hakutaka

 

What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour concludes on Day 2?

 

See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka

RESERVATION
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