There are two ways to get to the Snow Monkey area or to get back to Nagano City; either by bus or train. Both options have some advantages and disadvantages that we will elaborate on in this blog.
The most common way to get to and from the Yamanouchi region via Nagano City is by train. From Nagano Station, take the Nagano Dentetsu train line which will bring you to Yudanaka Station. This station is the final station of the train line. Sometimes you have to change trains at Shinshu-Nakano but this transfer usually is done in minutes. From Yudanaka you can get a bus that heads for either the Kanbayashi Onsen bus stop (via Kanbayashi line) or the Snow Monkey Park bus stop (via Shiga Kogen line). The Kanbayashi bus stop is a little bit closer to the Snow Monkey Park, but it is only a 300 meter difference. There are about two buses an hour that go to bus stops close to the Snow Monkey Park trail entrance.
Going by bus to the Snow Monkey Park from Nagano Station is also a possibility. Just go down to the bus station on the East side of the JR Nagano Station and take the Shiga Kogen Express bus from platform 23. It will take 55 minutes before you get to the Snow Monkey bus stop and from there you walk for about 30 minutes to the park.
Choosing Bus or Train:
The Express Bus is convenient because you don’t have to transfer and you can just get straight to the trail for the Monkey Park. Less convenient about the bus though, is that in summer there are only 3 buses going there and back again.
Our recommendation would be to go by train and local bus. The train schedule is consistent, be it winter or summer. When going by train you also have the option to explore the towns at the end of the train line like Yudanaka or Shibu Onsen. These towns have a large variety of hot springs and restaurants for you to try out. Halfway between JR Nagano Station and Yudanaka Station is also the attractive town of Obuse, a town famous for its local chestnut delicacies and Hokusai artworks that can be seen in several locations through town. Going by train, this is one of the stations you can get to.
Train and Bus Timetables:
We also conduct tours which include the visit to the Snow Monkey Park as its highlight and you are very much welcome to join the tour as well. The start/end point of the tour is JR Nagano Station, and the guide will take you all the way up to Snow Monkey Park so that you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Please find more information about the tours on our tour page.