Though we aren’t yet into summer, winter is never that far away from the mind when living in Nagano. With the coming winter season already tantalizing us, Snow Monkey Resorts is happy to announce our latest tour – 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination!
Operating for a short time each December, the tour combines a visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park with one of the region’s newest but most popular festivals. Having started in 2018, this year’s Zenko-ji Omotesando Illumination will again see the city’s famous temple come to light, as the temple itself and the historic precinct burst into vivid life with projected colors and images overlaying the area from 5PM to 8PM each evening.
1 Day Tour
|1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination
|10:45/12:15 – 19:50/21:00
In the chilled nights of early winter (and with a hope of early snowfall), the festival imbues Nagano’s historic heart with a hint of magic and the sublime, as the evening is awash with purple, gold, red and silver. The tour includes an afternoon visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park with an early dinner in Nagano City followed by a guided evening tour of the temple complex – a rare opportunity to explore the famous temple at night and in the beauty and colour of the illumination.
Before heading to the festival, you’ll enjoy an afternoon visit to Nagano’s Jigoukudani Monkey Park – home to the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot-springs. The monkeys of Jigokudani have become wildly popular in recent years and no visit to Nagano is complete without seeing these curious creatures in the winter habitat. Your guide will accompany you in and out of the park and introduce you to our favorite furry Nagano residents!
From the park you head to Nagano where you’ll first enjoy a warming winter dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya. Enya celebrates the festival with its Winter Illumination Dinner course including appetizers, bagna cauda, a warming winter soup and hamburger steak in sauce. The delicious menu will be rounded-out with a welcome drink, dessert and a hot drink of your choice to conclude your meal*. For further information, see our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination tour page.
*Please note, Monzen Terrace Enya is likely to update their menu each season therefore the exact dinner may differ to that shown and described above. We will update this page once we are aware of any change to the menu.
For guests wanting to stay in Nagano City after the tour, we recommend Hotel Kokusai 21. One of Nagano’s most established international hotels with a reputation built on attentive service, in-house services, Western-style amenities and English-speaking staff, Kokusai 21 is our recommendation for guests wanting the convenience, comfort and service of an international hotel in the heart of the city.