From Kanazawa: How To Get To The Snow Monkey Park

From Kanazawa: How To Get To The Snow Monkey Park


Kanazawa is a charming coastal city which, in recent years, has established itself as an overnight or multi-day stop on the route between Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, Kanazawa Station is a convenient starting point from where to head to the Jigokudani Monkey Park via Nagano Station. On this page you will find the following information:

Where is the Jigokudani Monkey Park?

Directions to the Park from Kanazawa

Accessing the Park via Nagano Station

Recommended Accommodation in Nagano City

Monkey Park General Information

25 Things to Do Around the Monkey Park & Where to Stay

Private Charters from Kanazawa to the Monkey Park

Tours and Charters around Kanazawa

Home to beautiful gardens, expansive castle grounds and historic streetscapes, Kanazawa offers visitors plenty to explore and enjoy. It is also a great food city, best known for its outstanding seafood. Located only 15 to 20-minutes walk from Kanazawa Station, Omicho is one of the best places in Japan to enjoy a seafood meal. For suggestions of everything on offer in and around the city, see our ’30 Things To Do Around Kanazawa & Where To Stay’ page.


Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are the region’s No.1 tour and charter operator. Our group tours run throughout the year, including multiple tours to the monkeys. We can also arrange private tours and charters to the park along with any destination in the region, and as a registered travel agent, we can package transport, accommodation and more together so you save and get the most out of your time at the park, Nagano and beyond – scroll to the bottom for details.


The Jigokudani Monkey Park – often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park – is around 35KM / 50-minutes to the north-east of central Nagano City and around 250KM / 3.5-hours drive to the east of Kanazawa. Open every day, the monkeys come to the park through the year making it one of Nagano’s most popular attractions. When heading to the park using public transport from Kanazawa Station, it will be easiest to do so from Nagano Station, from where an express bus runs directly to Kanbayashi Onsen – where the park is located – or alternatively, you can take the Nagano Dentetsu railway to Yudanaka Station – the nearest train station to the park – and from there, take a local bus to the park. Both options take around 50 to 55-minutes in total to get there and add-up to a total journey time of between 2.5 to 3-hours from Kanazawa (depending on train connections). The park is located in the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen, which itself is located in the wider region of Yamanouchi – a region including the park, multiple hot spring villages, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, the smaller ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen and Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. Within easy reach of Nagano City, visiting the monkey park as a day-trip is easy while also providing lots of reasons to stay in the area on a multi-day visit.



As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line from Tokyo, the monkey park is readily accessible from Kanazawa via Nagano Station in a two-step journey:

1 / From Kanazawa Station, take the Hokuriku Shikansen to Nagano Station. Using the Kagayaki service, the journey will take 66 minutes and costs JPY9,120 (reserved seats only) or using the Hakutaka service, it will takes 90 minutes and cost JPY8,590 (non-reserved). Timetables to and from Kanazawa are available on our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable’ page.

2 / Once in Nagano, follow the directions below.

It is important to note the Hakutaka also has the option of reserved seats and all services including Kagayaki are covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, JR East Pass and JR Hokuriku Arch Pass at no additional cost.



Once at Nagano Station, you have two choices to reach the park – express bus or train*:

1 / Use the Nagaden Snow Monkey Express Bus directly from the station to the monkey park

2 / Take a train on the Nagano Dentetsu Line followed by a Nagaden local bus to the park

Starting from Nagano Station, the express bus costs JPY1,800 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 JPY1,290, 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 JPY1,600 and take at least 55 to 60 minutes (depending on train and bus timetables). Please note, the Nagaden express bus, train and local buses are not covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, JR East Pass or JR Hokuriku Arch Pass.

*Not sure which option is best of you? See our ‘How To Get To the Jigokudani Monkey Park’ main page for suggestions of what works best.


The Nagaden Snow Monkey Express Bus operates from Bus Stop No.23, on the east side of the station. Simply line-up for the bus and once onward you buy your ticket directly from the driver – JPY1,800 each way – and pay using either cash or credit card with the tap to pay feature. To check the bus schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Express Bus Timetable’ page.


Using a limited express service on the Nagano Dentetsu Line, the journey takes approximately 45 minutes and costs JPY1.290. 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 Station 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.



The monkey park can be visited as a day trip from Matsumoto or you also have the option of staying in Nagano, from where you can explore destinations including Togakushi and the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. When staying in Nagano City,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.



Open every day of the year, the Jigokudani Monkey Park is one of Nagano’s most popular destinations. Our ‘Snow Monkey Park Information’ page has everything you need to know including opening times, prices, the park rules, FAQs and more. We hope you enjoy your visit with our favourite furry friends.



Often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park, you’d be forgiven for thinking the park is only open and the monkeys only venture there in winter. While it’s true they are most famous for their winter antics, the monkeys come to the park all year round and there are just as many reasons to visit in spring, summer and autumn. Located in the beautiful rural enclave of Yamanouchi and within easy reach of Nagano City, visiting the park can be easily combined with plenty of nearby destinations and activities, as a day-trip or multi-day visit. Our ’25 Things To Do Around The Jigokudani Monkey Park & Where To Stay’ page has lots of tips and suggestions of what’s on offer and the best area to stay when visiting the monkeys.



If you are looking for an easier way to reach the Monkey Park from Kanazawa, look no further than our Charter Service! Our clean and well-maintained vehicles are ready and waiting to pick you up from anywhere in Kanazawa and take you straight to the Monkey Park. You can avoid the hassle of switching trains, rushing to catch the bus, and carrying your luggage around and instead relax to enjoy the scenery.

Our charters can also take you to many other locations as well – The Monkey Park is only one of many places you could go! For more information, please click the link above and get in contact with us to plan your trip.



We are proud to offer a number of tours in the Kanazawa area, as well as charter services to bring you wherever it is you would like to go, including to destinations such as Fukui, Takayama, and Nagano. Please read on below for more information about our tours operating from Kanazawa.

On this walking tour, you will see the best of Kanazawa in one day, all on foot! With a visit to the Samurai District, Kanazawa Castle, a tea house, and the Higashichaya Tea District (plus more!), this tour is all you need to see the sights in this fantastic city. Enter into the home of a Samurai, drink Matcha at a tea house overlooking a garden on the castle grounds, and see where Geisha once entertained clients. If all of the above sound like a great time, this is the tour for you!

Head out of the city and see how life was in the alpine regions of Central Japan on this great day tour from Kanazawa. With stops at Gokayama and Shirakawa-go, two famous villages of well preserved thatched roof houses and a Japanese Washi Paper making experience, you will be able to see some of the most picturesque countryside views in Japan as well as try your hand at a local craft.

Including multiple different experiences, tour is perfect for those looking for a hands on day trip. With the chance to make your own gold-leaf ornamented plate, as well as Japanese Sweets to put on said plate, you will come home with plenty of memories and souvenirs. Later in the day, nearby the famous Ninja Temple of Kanazawa, you will have the chance to also try out using the Ninja’s most famous weapon – Ninja Stars!

Other Snow Monkey Park / Kanazawa & Fukui Pages