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[NOV 23RD ONLY] 1 DAY TOUR: EBISU-KO FIREWORKS FESTIVAL & SNOW MONKEY TOUR

[NOV 23RD ONLY] 1 DAY TOUR: EBISU-KO FIREWORKS FESTIVAL & SNOW MONKEY TOUR

Highlights

  • See Japan’s most beautiful autumn fireworks festival
  • Take photos with the world-famous snow monkeys
  • Enjoy lunch at the restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park
  • Explore the famous Zenkoji Temple and shop in the nearby street
  • Try Japanese sake at a local sake brewery

 

Description

 

This tour will take you to see the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani lounging in or around their hot spring, followed by a visit to the important temple of Zenko-ji. After your stroll around the temple, it is time to go see the highlight of this tour; the festival of Ebisuko where over 15,000 fireworks are fired. This festival is hailed as the grandest autumn fireworks show in Japan with 430,000 people from all over Japan coming to Nagano to see the spectacle. We will make sure you get good reserved seats so you see and enjoy all the fireworks.

 

Our guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 9:35 am (our guide will be there by 9:20 am). We will get on the train from Nagano Station to the town closest to the Snow Monkey Park. The Park is located in a remote area, away from human settlements. To get to the Park, we need to walk for 30 minutes along a forest trail so good shoes are advised. Having arrived, you can see the monkeys doing their thing, running around, playfighting, and (their most famous habit) bathing in the hot spring. The Japanese macaques will let you get really close for some great photo opportunities. After saying goodbye to the snow monkeys you will stroll back along the tranquil forest trail and head for a Japanese lunch.

 

We will leave the lunch restaurant and get back on the train leaving for Nagano. After we’ve arrived to Nagano, we will walk to Zenko-ji, the temple famous for being the temple to house the first Buddhist statue in Japan. Its history is long, and has many legends attached to it. Your guide will explain all about the religious practices will showing you the best temples of the complex.

 

After exploring Zenko-ji Temple, we will visit one of the historic sake breweries in Nagano where you get the opportunity to try several types of sake. Nagano is one of the regions in Japan with a very active production of sake. The prefecture’s clear spring water and clean rice production create the optimal environment for high quality sake and we’re gonna try some of the favorites of the locals. Having warmed yourself on sake samples, we’re going to head to Nagano’s most beloved fireworks festival grounds.

 

Some hundred year ago, local merchants decided to hold a fireworks display to honor and ask for the favor of Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. This festival grew year by year in popularity and is now the most popular autumn fireworks show in Japan. Pyrotechnics from everywhere are vying to get a spot in the festival lineup. There are a lot of people coming to the festival and it’s hard to get good seats for the show. We will reserve the seats in advance so you can see the full fireworks show from a good spot.

 

You will see a amazing array of colors, shapes, and techniques that will make for a wonderful memory. As per usual with Japanese festivals, there are a great many vendors around selling things from souvenirs to popular foods like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, dango, etc. Enjoy the display and the lively atmosphere of the festival for a full two hours.

 

When the festival finishes at 20:00, we will take you back to Nagano Station from where you get to continue your journey.

 

Video – Ebisuko Fire Festival 2016

ITINERARY

9:35 Meet up with the guide at the Information Board of JR Nagano Station, across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance. The guide will be there from 9:20. We will take public transport to the Snow Monkey area so we will start moving from 9:40.
10:50 Welcome to the Monkey area! From the entrance we will walk for 30 minutes along a forest trail to get to the Monkey Park.
12:30 After having seen your share of monkeys, head back on the trail to get to the lunch restaurant where you can enjoy a Japanese lunch.
14:00 Get back on the train to Nagano City where we will visit Zenko-ji, one of Japan's most prominent temple complexes.
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.
16:30 Visit a local sake brewery where you get to learn about and taste some of the sake. Afterwards, we will take the bus to Nagano Station.
17:30 From Nagano Station we will walk to the festival grounds where you can walk around the various food/souvenir/gadget stalls until the festival with its hundreds colorful fireworks begins.
20:00 End of the festival! Your guide will lead you back to JR Nagano Station.
21:00 Arrival at JR Nagano Station, from where you can continue your travels through Japan. The Shinkansen timetable to Tokyo and Kanazawa is listed in FAQ section of the page.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Reserved seat (Ebisu seat) at the Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • Sake tasting
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Bullet train tickets
  • Optional fee to the attraction in Zenko-ji Temple
  • Dinner (there are many vendors at the festival so you can choose freely from what is available there)

 

Other Information:

  • There will be a lot of walking on paved and unpaved roads so please wear suitable shoes.
  • 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.
  • It will be cold in the end of November in Nagano with a possibility of snowfall and temperatures falling below 0 degrees. The cold is especially apparent at night so please wear warm clothes fit for winter.
  • Confirmation email of your reservation will be sent to you within 48 hours after booking.
  • A infant (0-3) lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
  • There will be a lot of people leaving for places like Tokyo and Kanazawa after the festival. It is expected to be very busy so be sure to book either your Shinkansen tickets or your hotel in/around Nagano in advance. If you wish to stay the night in the area, please look for hotels here.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

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

FAQ

What time of the bullet train should I ride 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 on 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 up to there.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 21:15 – Tokyo: 23:00 – Asama

Nagano: 21:46 – Tokyo: 23:24 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 22:08 – Tokyo: 23:32 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Kanazawa Station:

Nagano: 21:21 – Kanazawa: 22:30 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 21:54 – Kanazawa: 23:21 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 22:28 – Kanazawa: 23:35 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

 

What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?
Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send you an electric invoice to the email address you submit 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.

 

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.

Period

November 23rd, 2018

TIME

9:35 - 21:00

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

PRICE

Adult (13+) 20,500 JPY
Child (4 - 12) 16,000 JPY
Infant (0 - 3) 5,000 JPY
RESERVATION