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

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

Period

Sun & Weds / Apr - Nov

Time

(Day 1) 09:35-(Day 2) 18:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

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

Highlights:

  • Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique
  • 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.
  • 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 1 – 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 – Nagano to Kanazawa – with pickup and drop-off at their respective Shinkansen stations.

 

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

 

Starting from Nagano City and concluding in Kanazawa, this 2-day takes you to Zenko-ji Temple – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist Temples in Japan – and the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani on Day 1, and onto the “Roof of Japan” via the fabled Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route 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.

 

Description:

 

Day 1

Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) 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 Fukumidori 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.

 

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Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity before the tour returns to Nagano City where the day concludes with drop-off at your accommodation, Hotel Kokusai 21. 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 collect you from the lobby at 8:30 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.

 

tateyama kurobe route

 

Arriving at Ogisawa Station around 10:15 your guide will give you time to prepare for your ascent before boarding the Kanden Tunnel trolley bus at 11:00 – the first of a variety of mountain transports you will utilize to reach the summit. First stop is the Kurobe Dam. Constructed between 1956 and 1963, this immense structure require the labor of up to 10 million people and is Japan`s highest dam. A source of national pride and emblematic of man`s attempts to conquer nature.

 

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The Tateyama Ropeway is a highlight of your adventure upwards. Spanning 1700 meters, you will be transported upward to the final stop of Daikanbo, before taking the final trolley bus to the final station, Murodo.

 

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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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At approximately 15:00 your guide will collect you and begin the simpler journey down the other side of the mountain. Arriving at the station at around 16:15 your tour bus will be waiting for you and your guide will get you onboard and on your way toward Kanazawa with the tour scheduled to conclude at JR Kanazawa Station at 18:15*.

 

*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 09:35 Meet-up with your guide at JR Nagano Station (the guide will be there from 9:20). The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board.
10:00 Arrive at Zenko-ji Temple 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 with drop-off at your accommodation, Hotel Kokusai 21.
Day2 08:30 Meet your guide in the lobby of Hotel Kokusai 21 and begin your journey toward Ogisawa.
10:15 Arrive at Ogisawa Station, gateway to the Tateyama Alpen Route. Get off the tour bus and prepare to begin your ascent to the alpine pass, stopping at various stations along the way including the Kurobe Dam.
13:10 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 Tateyama.
15:00 Depart Murodo and begin your journey back down the mountain via Bijodaira and arriving at Tateyama Station around 16:15, where the tour bus will be waiting to take you on to Kanazawa.
18:30 Tour concludes at JR Kanazawa Station.

NOTES

Included:

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

 

Excluded:

  • Dinner on Day 1
  • Lunch 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.
  • On bright days the glare of the sun reflecting off the snow can be intense. Please ensure you have sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • 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℃).
  • 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.
  • 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 Nagano Station Information Board

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

FAQ

Which train service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time for the tour?

The start of the tour is arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. The following shinkansen services, running every day of the week, will get you to Nagano Station in-time to join the tour:

 

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 up to there.

RESERVATION
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