As we say farewell to April and head into May, it’s time for our monthly photoblog. While spring officially started sometime ago, the weather is typically up-and-down through April with warm days often followed by a cold ones. That’s especially been the case this year! But now as we enjoy Golden Week, the weather feels like it is finally stabilising and about to get much warmer. And with that, it’s a good time for us to recap the winter we’ve just enjoyed at the park and some of our favourite photos of winter!
Winter 2020/21 got-off to an early start with Nagano receiving good snow in December. In contrast to the previous winter this was a big relief and we enjoyed a white Christmas as the monkeys quickly adjusted to their winter routine.
Given the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on both international and domestic travel, visitor numbers to the park were exceptionally low allowing those who did make the journey, to enjoy spending time with the monkeys without the usual winter crowds.
As we moved into January, the snow kept falling and the monkeys huddled together for warmth. Of course this meant also frequenting the ‘onsen’ (hot spring), where they spent their days soaking in the lovely warm thermal water. The little-ones experiencing their first winter always struggle a little as they adjust to the cold and it doesn’t take them long to get over their fear of the water and take refuge in its warmth.
February saw the region again receive regular dumps of heavy snow, allowing for great photography for the visitors who made it to the park. Visitor numbers were still exceptionally low but we were happy to welcome some guests on our tours and introduce them to the monkeys.
Finally, as we moved into March, early hints of spring broke through with some lovely crisp days with a warming sun. From mid-March onward the temperature rose quickly and suddenly, the cherry blossoms were upon us. Much earlier than usual many areas of Japan experienced ‘mankai’ (peak bloom) during March – which was exceptionally early.
Nagano of course blooms a little later and the blossoms didn’t appear until April but March was certainly warmer than usual and the monkeys switched quickly into their spring behaviour of foraging, wrestling, endlessly grooming each other and generally enjoying the welcome warmth.
The warmer days of April and May make it easier to enjoy an extended stay in the park and there’s still lots of room to get some great photos of the monkeys with visitor numbers still low. Pregnant through winter, expectant mothers are approaching term and we’ll soon see the appearance of this year’s baby monkeys in the park. Always an adorable time of year to visit!
As Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator, our tours are available every day of the year. All tours are led by locally-based, English-speaking guides with precautions taken to ensure the safety and comfort of guests (along with the guide) and as a registered travel agent, we can package your tour and accommodation so you save more and can enjoy the best of Nagano this spring.
This information is provided as part of our ‘Clean Green & Healthy’ campaign, allowing you to plan and book your future travel to Japan with peace of mind. We hope this information inspires you to plan your next trip to Nagano – with so many outdoor destinations and activities, Nagano and Central Japan offer the perfect getaway!
PACKAGE ANY OF OUR TOURS WITH ACCOMMODATION!
When planning and booking your trip to Central Japan, it’s important that you can do so with confidence that your intended destinations will be both enjoyable and safe.
As Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator, we offer a range of services including group tours, private tours and private charters, and accommodation to help you get the most out of your time in the region.
Any of our group tours can be booked with accommodation in Nagano, or as private tours starting and ending at locations of your choosing. Please note, depending on the group size, group tours can be conducted using public transport however all private tours are conducted using our own vehicles.
We can arrange transport to and from any destination in the region, with a customised itinerary to suit your travel needs. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from any destination. Vehicles used for private tours are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting the monkey park? Feel free to contact us and let’s get planning together!