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.
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.
As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line from Tokyo, Kanazawa is readily accessible from Nagano. As such, using the shinkansen means that the Jigokudani Monkey Park – although quite far from Kanazawa – is also readily accessible via 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 JPY9120 (reserved seats only) or using the Hakutaka service, it will takes 90 minutes and cost JPY8590 (non-reserved). 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.
2 / Once in Nagano, follow the directions below.
Accessing the park via Nagano Station
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).
*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.
Using the Nagaden Express Service from/to 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
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
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.
Tours start and end at Nagano Station and therefore accessible from Kanazawa using the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
We can also provide private tours and charters from Kanazawa 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 regional destination.
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 Kanazawa? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com and let’s get planning together!