The world will turn its focus to Japan this autumn, as it hosts the Rugby World Cup from September 20th to November 2nd 2019. With 13 host venues spread throughout Japan – from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south – there’s so much to discover in this beautiful country and in the midst of the autumn beauty, Nagano should be at the top of your list!
Home to the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokduani, Nagano is located only 1.5-2 hours from Tokyo and 1.5 hours from Kanazawa by shinkansen, or around 4 hours from Kyoto. A region of high mountains and beautiful natural landscapes, Nagano is the perfect destination for international visitors wanting to escape the cities and experience the full beauty of Japan in autumn!
As Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator, Snow Monkey Resorts offers a range of one-day, overnight, or multiday tours which are within easy reach of Tokyo, Kanazawa, Nagoya and even Kyoto and Osaka – a great escape to the country.
Named of one the Top 10 Experiences in Japan with a 2019 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour. Combining a visit to Zenko-ji – one of the oldest, largest, and most important temples in the country – with lunch and sake tasting experience before heading to the Snow Monkey Park, this tour starts and ends at JR Nagano Station, making it an ideal daytrip for guests wanting to return to their point of origin on the same day – ideal for guests wanting a one-day escape from Tokyo, Kanazawa or beyond!
For guests wanting to go just a little slower, our 2-Day Snow Monkeys, Luxury Ryokan, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour follows the same itinerary with the indulgence of an overnight stay at one of the region’s most acclaimed traditional hotels – Senjukaku. Known for its outstanding ‘kaisekki’ (traditional meal service) and indulgent hot springs, this tour combines some of Nagano’s most unique experiences with an evening of traditional Japanese relaxation and service, followed by a self-guided second day allowing guests the flexibility to fit the tour their schedule – and perfect to those needing to move onto the next rugby match!
Operating every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday our 1-Day Matsumoto Castle & Local Food Experience Tour heads to one of Japan’s last remaining castles in Matsumoto along with delving into Japan’s renowned food culture with visits to Daio Wasabi Farm, Kameteya Sake Brewery and hands-on soba-making experience.
On September 27th, things will get a little rowdy for guests joining our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Local O-Fune Festival in Nagano Tour. While often reserved and almost always well-mannered, Japanese have another side – more wild and raucous – best witnessed in the chaos and noise of local festivals. This tour combines a visit to the Snow Monkey Park with afternoon attendance at the Azumino O-Fune Matsuri or ‘Boat Festival’, a yearly event which celebrates the origins of this beautiful agricultural region. With limited availability and a rare chance to join a very local, very old festival, this tour promises to be one of our most popular for 2019!
Finally, from October 7th to 19th we are looking to welcoming guests to Nagano on our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Autumn Leaves Tour. Known as ‘koyo’ in Japanese, the beautiful colors of the mountain leaves are synonymous with autumn, and best seen in the rural and mountain surrounds of Nagano. This relaxing one-day tour takes you to the monkeys before enjoying lunch and afternoon exploration of one of several local sights, chosen for the beauty of their leaves – a stunning display of red, orange and gold.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup stretching over 6 weeks, there’s plenty of time to spread your wings and discover all the Japan has to offer. With all tours led by locally-based, English-speaking guides we look forward to welcoming many new friends to Nagano this autumn.
For guests wanting the flexibility of a fully customizable tour itinerary – one designed to suit your needs and interest – we offer private tours and charters starting, visiting, and ending at destinations of your choice! Locally-based in Nagano, our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to take the hassle out of your trip and orchestrate your great escape to the country so you can focus on the important stuff – rugby.
For further information and enquiries, you can contact us. We look forward to seeing you here in Nagano this autumn!