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  • 2018.09.19


    Bathing Baby Monkey in a Hot Spring

    Snow Monkey Resorts is excited to announce our award-winning 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour is now available to guests based in Hakuba this winter, with a daily shuttle service from and to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal connecting guests to our most popular tour.



    This fun and engaging one day tour combines a visit to the world-famous Snow Monkey of Jigokudani, Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple, and lunch including sake tasting experience at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Monzen Terrace Enya. With the tour officially beginning and ending at JR Nagano Station, our winter-only shuttle allows guests based in Hakuba to join the tour and return there afterward.

    Snow Monkeys_190217_0435

    Operating everyday from Dec.18th 2019 until Mar.31st 2020, the shuttle starts at the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal where our staff will meet you at 08:20 and have you board the bus. Quickly on your way toward Nagano you will stop at JR Nagano Station to collect other guests and then on to your first stop, Zenko-ji Temple.


    As a registered National Treasure, Zenko-ji is not just the spiritual and cultural heart of Nagano but one of the oldest and most important temples in Japan.

    zenko-ji temple with snow

    Your guide will lead you in exploring the temple precinct before (time-permitting) allowing you the chance to explore a little for yourself and then, onto lunch.

    tour lunch 4

    Monzen Terrace Enya is one of Nagano City’s most popular restaurants and in the midst of winter, your guide will take you there to enjoy a winter menu of delicious ‘shabu shabu’ (hot pot) with your choice of beef with vegetables or vegetarian (also suitable for vegans) available for your enjoyment.

    sake tasting hotarutei

    While enjoying lunch your guide will also offer the chance to join a guided ‘sake’ tasting experience. As the second largest producer of Japan’s most famous alcoholic, Nagano is synonymous with ‘sake’ and with its production peaking in winter, there’s no better time to dip your toes in the seductive world of this warming, indulgent drink.


    From there it’s time to head out of Nagano and toward the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Established in 1964 as a conservation area for a local troop of macaques which were under threat from development, the monkeys came to global attention due to their unique behavior of bathing in ‘onsens’ (natural hot springs) – the only troop of monkeys in the world known to do so!


    Following your visit to the park, the tour bus will begin the journey back toward Hakuba, first stopping at JR Nagano Station to drop-off other guests and your guide will say their goodbyes, before you are whisked back to the Happo Bus Terminal – with an estimated drop-off time of 18:45.


    No visit to Nagano in winter is complete without witnessing this unique sight and there’s no better way to do so than by joining our award-winning tour. All led by a locally-based English-speaking guide, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour turns your visit to the monkeys into a real experience and highlight of your visit to Japan this winter!


    Our winter-only shuttle service from/to Hakuba will operate every day from December 18th 2019 until March 31st 2020*. If you would like to choose this option simply select Hakuba as your pick-up point on the tour booking page.


    *The shuttle service will not operate outside of these dates and booking requests from Hakuba cannot be accepted.