Winter is fast approaching and we’re getting excited in anticipation of another big season here in Nagano! As Nagano’s No.1 tour provider, Snow Monkey Resorts is gearing-up for another huge winter as we welcome many new friends and old, to the region to experience some of the best powder in the world!
This season we are happy to again be offering our popular 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen and Shiga Kogen Ski / Snowboard & Snow Monkey Package tours, and thrilled to announce our new 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen tour.
Available every day between December 22nd 2019 and January 6th 2020, and then every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from January 9th until March 20th 2020*, the tour bus departs from JR Nagano Station at 09:35 and transports you to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and lunch at Hotaru-tei, before heading up to Shiga Kogen to enjoy some of Japan’s best snow conditions.
Whether you’re a newbie, a seasoned powderhound or seeing snow for the first time, we’ve got you covered with our flexible tours and packages which take the hassle out of planning your visit to the monkeys and Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen.
1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen
As the name suggests, this tour is a whole lotta fun combining your visit to the Snow Monkey Park followed by lunch, with an afternoon in the central area of Shiga Kogen using snowdrives, snowscoots, sleds and tubes.
With equipment suitable for both adults and children, and with your guide on-hand to instruct you regarding the safe use of all gear, this tour is suitable and huge fun for guests of all ages and particularly well-suited to families!
Once the fun is over and its time to head back toward Nagano, your guide will provide a quick stop at the resorts Takamagahara ski area (it’s a bit of a mouthful!) and take you up the chairlift to around 2000 meters to take in the view of the surrounding landscape, as the sun slowly sets on your tour – a great way to end a really fun day!
1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen
For guests wanting even more excitement and thrills from their day in the snow, this tour takes you to the Snow Monkey Park and lunch, and then onto Shiga to another area of the resort we’re you can ride a snowmobile through the beautiful winter landscape of Shiga Kogen!
A certified instructor is on-hand to first teach you how to operate and ride the snowmobile safely, before they led you on a circuit on which you can choose either single ride or tandem with a family member or friend. Guests aged 13 years and above can choose to ride single or tandem while children aged 6 to 12 can also join in, but must ride tandem with an adult. Due to the use of heavy equipment, infants aged 0 to 5 cannot join this tour.
Once done you’ll board the tour bus and begin your journey out of Shiga, first stopping to collect the Snow Fun guests and then together, heading-up the Takamagahara chairlift to almost 2000 meters to take in a final, breathtaking view of the mountain peaks of Shiga before returning to JR Nagano Station, where the tour and a thrilling day conclude!
Shiga Kogen Ski / Snowboard & Snow Monkey Packages Tours
Shiga Kogen offers visitors the largest expanse of interconnected terrain in Nagano and officially, the largest resort in Japan. Not just the biggest but also laying claim to being the highest resort in Japan with the longest season and best powder in Nagano, Shiga is our recommendation as the best resort for guests wanting to experience a multiday ski or snowboard adventure.
Our ski/snowboard packages can be booked for 4 days/3 nights, 5 days/4 nights, and 6 days/5 nights and include accommodation in the Shiga Kogen’s central village of Ichinose (including dinner on your first day and breakfast each morning), all-mountain passes for the duration of your stay, a guided visit to the snow monkeys and lunch on your first day, dinner at one of the region’s best restaurants – Hotaru-tei – on the second day, and transport to and from Shiga Kogen.
These three tours will operate every day between December 22nd 2019 and January 6th 2020, and then every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from January 9th until March 20th 2020*.
*Please note that the final day to begin our Shiga Kogen Ski / Snowboard & Snow Monkey Package tour is March 16th 2020.
Why choose us?
Locally-based and operating all year round, we offer the local knowledge, support, and service that you need to get the most out of your winter adventure in Japan.
We want all of our guests have the best possible time in Nagano and pride ourselves of providing great experiences which offer the flexibility to suit your needs! With that in mind, let’s answer some common questions:
We are travelling as a group and some of us want to join the Snow Fun tour, while others want to join try snowmobiling. Is this possible?
Yes. Our winter tours in Shiga Kogen are intentionally scheduled for the same days, allowing groups to split-up on different tours. This is a great option for families or larger groups for whom, some may want to try snowmobiling while others might want to join our snow fun activities.
If we split-up and join different tours, will we be on the same tour bus and will we see each other during the day?
Yes. These tours use the same tour bus meaning that pick-up (09:35) and drop-off (18:45) at JR Nagano Station is the same. You will ride on the same tour bus and visit the Snow Monkey Park together. Following your visit to the monkeys you will also enjoy lunch together before boarding the same tour bus and heading to Shiga Kogen. Once you arrive in Shiga you will split up for the next few hours as you enjoy your chosen activities, before meeting-up again and heading to the Takamagahara ski area to ride the chairlift together to around 2000 meters. And finally, when it’s time to go you will ride the same tour bus back to JR Nagano Station and end the tour together as a group.
We are travelling with an infant (aged under 6). Can we still join these tours?
Yes. For guests travelling with infants we recommend our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen tour. The tour is suitable for guests of all ages including even the youngest of visitors, who can enjoy sledding and tubing with their family or simply playing in the snow. Due to the use of heavy equipment, infants cannot partake in snowmobiling. If you are travelling in a group including an infant but also want to try snowmobiling, you have the option of booking separate tours with at least one adult and the infant choosing the Snow Fun tour, while any other guest from the same group could then book our snowmobiling tour.
Please note that ski packages are not available for infants.
Can I ski or snowboard on either of the 1-day tours?
Unfortunately no. Our tour schedule doesn’t allow enough time to ski or snowboard. If you want to ski or snowboard in Shiga Kogen, we recommend booking one of our multiday ski packages (as detailed above).
We are staying in Yudanaka/Shibu Onsen. Can we join the tour there?
Yes. We are happy to pick-up and drop-off guests at Yudanaka Station. If you would like to do so, please choose the relevant option when booking your tour and/or include your request in the Special Requirements field.
What happens if the weather is bad?
Winter conditions can change quickly and given Shiga Kogen’s higher altitude, temperatures can be very cold (as low as -15°C during the day) with regular heavy snowfall. If the weather is bad and visibility is low, we may not be able to take guests up the Takamagahara chairlift to enjoy the surrounding view. In such cases, we would simply extend the activity time i.e. more time to use the snow fun gear. It is unlikely that weather conditions would prohibit the tours taking place, as heading to Shiga during snowfall is all part of the fun! The only circumstance in which we would not head to Shiga Kogen would be if weather conditions posed a safety caution for the tour. In such cases we would offer guest an alternative activity on the day.