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2-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEYS, LUXURY RYOKAN, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

2-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEYS, LUXURY RYOKAN, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

Highlights:

  • Visit Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and observe the wild Japanese macaques at incredibly close distance
  • Spend a night in the finest Japanese ryokan (traditional guesthouse) of the Snow Monkey area
  • Enjoy kaiseki (Japanese multi-course fine dining) and relax in a authentic Japanese-style onsen (indoor and outdoor hotsprings) at the hotel
  • See the sights of the temple complex that houses Japan’s oldest known Buddhist statue
  • Sample, enjoy, and get to know more about Japan’s most famous drink, sake!

 

Description

Day 1:

Your guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 9:35 am (the guide will be there by 9:20 am) and accompany you to Yamanouchi, the area where the Snow Monkey Park is located.

 

The park is situated away from human settlements.  To get to the park you will walk for 30 minutes along a forest trail (an easy and enjoyable walk however good shoes are advised).  At the park, you are free to explore and observe the monkeys at your leisure.  You can see the Japanese macaques doing their thing – running around, play-fighting, and (depending on their mood) swimming in the hot spring water!  They will let you get really close for some great photo opportunities.  Once done you will say goodbye to the snow monkeys and stroll back along the forest trail and on to a local restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.

 

Following lunch you will be dropped off at Hotel Senjukaku, a luxurious ryokan – a traditional guesthouse very close to the Monkey Park – where you will spend a relaxing afternoon and evening in beautiful surroundings.  Hotel Senjukaku is a favorite resort for the Japanese imperial family, with members of the family coming to the ryokan about once a year to unwind.

 

You too can unwind at the ryokan by relaxing your body in a 100 % natural spring onsen which is said to have proprieties that will improve your general health. You can choose to soak in either a private or public hot spring, equipped with both indoor and outdoor baths. After your bath, get dressed in a yukata (light kimono) and head to the restaurant for a kaiseki-style, Japanese multi-course dinner. Enjoy various dishes prepared with local ingredients and attended by hotel staff dedicated to making your stay indulgent and memorable.

 

Day 2:

 

The tour on the second day starts from 12:30. The morning is yours to again enjoy Hotel Senjukaku’s hot springs, sit down to a delicious breakfast, and (if you choose to) explore the hot spring town of Shibu Onsen.  From 12:30 hotel staff will transport you to a nearby restaurant for lunch.  Your guide will meet you at that restaurant and take you to Zenko-ji – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan and home to the first known statue of the Buddha brought to Japan approximately 1400 years ago.  The stories associated with the temple and its famous statue are as rich as its history is long!  Your guide will walk you through the temple and introduce you to its history and the religious practices that personify Japanese Buddhism and Zenko-ji.

 

After exploring Zenko-ji, you will visit one of Nagano’s most historic and award-winning sake breweries.  Nagano is famous for its abundance of clear spring water and quality of its rice – two key ingredients and the optimal environment for high quality rice production.  Your guide will explain the brewing process and introduce you to a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic rice wines.  Most importantly, you will try them for yourself!

 

Having warmed yourself with sake samples, your guide will return you to Nagano Station from where you can continue on your journey through Japan.

 

This tour brings together some of Nagano’s most famous features – the world famous snow monkeys in their habitat, hot springs as enjoyed at Senjukaku – one of the best guesthouses in the region, the beauty and rich history of Zenko-ji, and the indulgent flavors of local sake. Join us on an adventure through Nagano!

ITINERARY

Day1 9:35 Meet-up with the guide at JR Nagano Station (the guide will be there from 9:20). From there we will head to the Snow Monkey area.
11:00 Arrival at the Snow Monkey forest trail. From there we will walk for 30 minutes to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park where you get to enjoy seeing some of the cutest monkeys in their habitat.
12:15 After seeing the monkeys frolicking around, head back on the forest trail to the lunch restaurant.
14:00 Leave the restaurant for Hotel Senjukaku. Check-in and then you're set to relax in the onsen of the hotel, walk around the garden, and eat their delicious dinner.
Day2 9:00 After enjoying a filling breakfast at the hotel, feel free to explore the nearby town of Shibu Onsen or just relax in the hotel.
12:30 You will be taken to the lunch restaurant.
14:00 After lunch, meet-up with the other group and make your way to Nagano city where you visit the temple complex of Zenko-ji.
15:00 We will show you around the temple complex and tell you of the practices, legends, and myths connected to the temple. Having seen all you wanted to see of the temple, take 30 minutes of free time to walk around the shopping street. After shopping, go for a sake tasting at a local sake brewery.
17:30 The tour concludes at JR Nagano Station!

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from and back to Nagano Station and between attractions
  • Entrance fee to the Snow Monkey Park
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accommodation at Hotel Senjukaku (incl. dinner and breakfast)
  • Lunch for 2 days (vegetarian options are available)*

*Infants from 0-5 are excluded from lunch on both days. Please order directly to the restaurant according to your needs.

 

Excluded:

  • Bullet train tickets.
  • Extra drinks/foods separately ordered at the hotel.
  • Futon beds, dinner, and breakfast at the hotel for 0 up to 2 year-old babies.
  • Private hot spring option at hotel (¥1500 for 45 min. per group)

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
  • Confirmation of your reservation will be sent to your email address within 48 hours after booking.
  • Infants of 0-2 year old are free of charge.
  • 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.
  • If you want to apply as a single traveler, a fee of 10,800 JPY will be added to the tour fare.
  • It is possible to extend your stay at Hotel Senjukaku. Please send us your preferred length of stay if this is what you’re looking for.

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

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

 

What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?

Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send an electric invoice to the email address you’ve submitted in the reservation form. Once you have received the email, please click on the inserted link and complete payment either via credit card or Paypal.

 

Period

Everyday - All Year Round

TIME

(Day 1) 9:35 - (Day 2) 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

PRICE

Adult (13+) 58,000 JPY
Child (6-12) 44,000 JPY
Infant (3-5) 16,200 JPY
RESERVATION