With the snow now falling in Nagano we are gearing up for another big winter and with that, we are happy to offer our popular 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour from December to March.
As Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen covers an expansive area – over 600 hectares! – and is blessed with Nagano’s best powder.
Shiga is a Snow Monkey Resorts favorite and our recommendation for visitors wanting to get the most out of their winter visit to Nagano! With 79 ski runs serviced by 51 chairlifts and gondolas, Shiga takes days to explore – another reason it’s a favorite of ours – and won’t disappoint. As the nearest resort to the Snow Monkey Park, hitting the powder white slopes of Shiga Kogen is a great way to get the maximum fun out of your visit to the monkeys. And for that reason, we created this tour combining a morning of snow activities followed by lunch and early afternoon visit to the monkeys! Suitable for guests of all ages and from first-timers to experienced skiers and snowboarders, this one day tour will have you smiling and telling your friends all about it!
Starting at Nagano Station at 08:45, your guide will greet you and get you underway to Shiga*. Taking around 90-minutes to reach the resort (depending on road and weather conditions), you will head to the picturesque ski fields of Maruike to enjoy the morning snow.
You can enjoy using snowscoots, snowdrives (sit-down skiing), tubes and sleds in the fenced-off activity area as you get your confidence up.
All equipment comes in sizes suitable for both children and adults and your guide will instruct you how to use them safely and proceed at a pace that is comfortable for you.
For the more adventurous guests and once you have your confidence up, your guide will be happy to accompany you up a chairlift with a snowdrive to use on a beginner run. These fun devices always get a reaction on the slopes, as you carve your way down the runs with powder kicking-up in your face you’ll know why we call this tour fun!
While at the resort, you can make use of a restaurant right next to the ski slopes with plenty of time to enjoy lunch. Your guide will provide you with a lunch coupon which can be used to select your lunch at the restaurant with options including katsu curry, katsudon, hamburger steak, pizza, sansai soba, and different types of udon. Once filled and re-energized, it’s time to head to the monkeys! You will board the bus for the quick drive – between 20 to 30-minutes depending on road conditions – to the park. Your guide will lead you along the forest trail into the park and introduce you to the most northern living monkeys in the world – the only troop known to bathe in ‘onsens’ (hot springs).
These curious creatures are a must see for any visitor to Nagano and hugely popular with international and Japanese visitors alike!
You’ll get nice and close as your guide introduces you to these truly curious creatures. Just remember to bring your camera as you’re going to need it!
Your guide will give you plenty of time to enjoy to yourself, answering your questions about the monkeys and pointing-out just what makes them so curious.
Heading-out of the park, it’s time to board the tour bus and head back to Nagano where the tour concludes at Nagano Station by 17:40 (end time can vary due to winter weather and road conditions). Operating from December to March, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen is one of our most popular seasonal tours – just as fun for kids and adults, families and friends, or single travelers!
Starting and ending at Nagano Station, this tour can easily be joined from Tokyo, Karuizawa, Kanazawa or any other station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – with start and end times set to coincide with convenient train services arriving at and departing from Nagano.
It’s easy and convenient to join the tour as a day-trip from Tokyo or any other station on the line. For directions to Nagano, see our ‘How to Get to Nagano City’ page. We hope to see you here this winter!