FROM HAKUBA: HOW TO GET TO THE SNOW MONKEY PARK
Hakuba is home to some of Nagano’s best resorts, drawing visitors from all over the world each winter to enjoy Japan’s epic snow and welcoming atmosphere. As one of the main host venues of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hakuba is recognised for its world-class snow conditions, varied terrain, and excellent facilities – in short, there’s lots of reasons its so popular.
Outside of winter, Hakuba is increasingly known for its array of ‘green season’ sports, during which time both local and international visitors head to the mountains to escape the oppressive heat and humidity of cities and enjoy numerous pursuits. Activities including hiking, mountain-biking (MTB), rafting, canyoning, standup paddle-boarding (SUP), fishing, and other pursuits have quickly established Hakuba as Nagano’s premier green seasons sports destination.
Whatever time of year that you’re in Hakuba, you may well be curious about a visit to the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the world known to naturally soak in hot springs, the monkey park is one of Nagano’s most popular winter destinations. The monkeys come to the park all year round, so whether you are visiting Hakuba in winter, spring, summer or autumn, there’s always a reason to visit.
Much like the monkeys, we’re also here all year round! As Nagano’s No.1 rated tour and charter operator, we offer a range of group tours to the monkey park and can arrange private tours and charters to match your needs. In winter, we extend our tours to include pick-up and drop-off in Hakuba, allowing guests based at the resorts there to join our award-winning Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple and Sake Tour along with other winter tours!
We hope the following information helps in planning your visit to the monkeys from Hakuba and of course, if you’d like to join one of our tours or would like to enquire about a private tour or charter, we’ll be happy to assist!
Directions to the Monkey Park from Hakuba
From Hakuba, the Jigokudani Monkey Park can be reached in a two-step journey:
1 / take the bus from Hakuba to Nagano Station
2 / take another bus or train from Nagano Station to the monkey park
The Alpico bus service from Hakuba to Nagano takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs JPY2000, an easy and convenient way to make the journey from the station.
The bus operates from the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal (pictured above) with tickets available for purchase at the counter.
1 / use the Nagaden Snow Monkey Express Bus directly from the station to the monkey park
Starting from Nagano Station, the express bus costs JPY1500 each way and takes 45 minutes (to the park) and 55 minutes (back from the park). In comparison, the express train from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station takes around 45 minutes and costs JPY1290, followed by an 8 minute local bus ride, costing JPY310 – meaning that the option of an express train + local bus will cost a total of JPY1600 and take at least 55 to 60 minutes (depending on train and bus timetables).
When coming from Hakuba, we recommend using the express bus.
Using the Nagaden Express Service from/to Nagano Station
The Alpico Bus bringing you to and from Hakuba, operates from Bus Stop No.26 outside the East Exit of Nagano Station. The Snow Monkey Express operates from Bus Stop No.23, also on the east side of the station. Simply line-up for the bus and once onward you buy your ticket directly from the driver – JPY1500 each way – and cash only.
Too check the bus schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Express Bus Timetable’ page.
Using the Nagaden Express Train from/to Nagano Station
For visitors who do choose to use the train, you can access the Nagano Dentetsu platforms by entering the station via the East Entrance and walking through to the other side. Take the escalator down to ground level and out of the station via the Zenko-ji Exit.
As you walk-out of the station you will see an escalator immediately to your right.
Proceed down the escalator and once at the bottom go to your left. The Nagano Dentetsu line ticket window and machines and ticket gates are approximately 50 metres ahead.
The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and costs JPY1290. Local services from Nagano to Yudanaka are only slighter cheaper – at JPY1190 – but take substantially longer and require passengers to transfer trains. As such, we always recommend using an express service to reach Yudanaka.
For the train schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line Timetable’ page.
Once at Yudanaka you need to jump-on a Nagaden local bus for the final leg of your journey to the park. Two local bus lines – the Kanbayashi Line and Shiga Kogen Line – head to stops nearby the monkey park. The ride is only around 8 minutes and costs JPY310 per adult and JPY160 per child. The ride back from the park takes a little longer – around 15 minutes – due to a different route and stops. Yudanaka is a small station and the buses operate from directly outside. You can’t miss them!
For the local bus schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Local Bus Timetable’ page.
Visit the Monkey Park on a Guided Tour from Hakuba
We offer a range of group tours including visits to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Led by locally-based guides, our tours are designed to transport you to and from the park in comfort, while making the day entertaining and engaging. Basically, we want to turn your visit to the park into an experience you love.
Through the year, tours start and end at Nagano Station but in winter, we also extend pick-up and drop-off of our most popular tours to Hakuba! This service is provided at no additional charge and represents the easiest way for you to visit the park from Hakuba in combination with other activities and destinations including snow fun activities or snowmobiling in Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen.
We can also provide private tours and charters from Hakuba to any destination, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests. Locally-based and operating all year round, we have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region, including transport to and from the monkey park along with any ski resort in the region.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule.
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 monkeys from Hakuba? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!