March is always an enjoyable time in the Snow Monkey Park and a great time to visit Nagano`s most famous furry residents! It`s a time of two seasons, with the first days of spring wrestling with the last days of winter for control of the park and the monkeys lives!
From one day to the next the landscape has changed from white snow and puffy clouds to the first buds of green growth and bright blue skies. The monkeys seem pleased that the cold of winter is lifting and happily wrestle, run, and dive into the pool in the bright sunshine.
However the spring weather hasn`t fully banished winter yet. Bright days have been punctuated by nights of snow (and the occasional snowy day), taking the monkeys by surprise and encouraging them back into the `onsen` (hot spring) for warmth．So the poor little guys aren`t quite out of the chilly clutches of winter!
The mixed weather means March is a really enjoyable time to visit as it prompts the monkeys to engage in all types of behavior – from wrestling, frolicking, and foraging in the sunshine or diving into the glistening hot spring water, to the iconic view of numerous monkeys huddled in the water to stay warm during periods of snow.
We`re now also outside of the busiest months of winter meaning that the crowds are largely gone, especially on weekdays! Wildly popular from December until early March, visitors to the park can again enjoy more space and time with the monkeys as the crowds dwindle away – especially from Mondays to Fridays.
Preparing for your visit to the park in March can be tricky due to the varying weather conditions. Our advice is to make sure you check the weather forecast on the day and be prepared for all seasons. Situated at around 800 to 850 meters elevation, the weather at the park can change quickly and while the temperature is rising steadily, the walk through the forest to the park can be cool to chilly as the sun doesn`t get through the trees above.
Operating all year round, Snow Monkey Resorts continues to welcome guests to Nagano and we look forward to introducing many new friends to our favorite furry residents through April and May. From April 10th to 26th* we will again be running our popular 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano Tour – a great day out, combining a visit to the park with lunch and afternoon `hanami` (flower-viewing) at some stunning local sites.
Sites are chosen based on where the blossoms are looking their best that day, making each tour a unique and spectacular way to enjoy Japan at its best!
Through spring and summer, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour also remains extremely popular, combining a visit to the park with lunch and afternoon exploration of Zenko-ji – one of Japan`s oldest and most important Buddhist temples – followed by sake tasting. A great way to change your visit to the park into a real experience!
We look forward to seeing you here soon!
*Our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano Tour operates from April 10th to 26th with the possibility of extension until April 30th if the blossoms remain in good condition. We will be monitoring the blossoms and update our website and tour page as soon as possible.