From Myoko Kogen: How To Get To The Snow Monkey Park

From Myoko Kogen: How To Get To The Snow Monkey Park


Located at the southern end of Niigata Prefecture, Myoko borders Nagano and is blessed with some of Japan’s heaviest snowfall. While it doesn’t yet have the profile of other Nagano resorts – such as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen – things are changing quickly, as more and more people discover the epic powder that falls on Myoko each year. Though located in Niigata, the resorts of Myoko Kogen are relatively close to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, allowing visitors to visit the monkeys while skiing and snowboarding in the area. On this page you will find the following information:

Where is the Jigokudani Monkey Park?

Directions to the Park from Myoko Kogen

Accessing the Park via Nagano Station

Accessing the Park via Iiyama Station

Monkey Park General Information

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

Tours and Charters from Myoko Kogen to the Monkey Park

Blessed with natural beauty and huge snowfall – an outrageous 13+ meters per year! – Myoko Kogen is home to some great ski resorts including Myoko Akakura, Myoko Suginohara, Seki Onsen, and Ikenotaira Onsen. The region offers some of the best powder in Japan, great off-piste runs and long vertical. Less developed than nearby resorts such as Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen, Myoko doesn’t offer the nightlife of other resorts however if you’re priority is days of deep powder runs, Myoko is the place for you!


The resorts of Myoko are actually not that far from the Jigokudani Monkey Park but to reach it, takes a little time and planning due to the lack of direct public transport options. A couple of options to reach the park from Myoko are detailed below but it is worth noting, that given the lack of direct transport, a private tour or charter is a great option for many visitors in Myoko. 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.


The Jigokudani Monkey Park – often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park – is just under 45KM / 60-minutes drive to the south-east of Myoko Kogen and 35KM / 50-minutes to the north-east of central Nagano City. 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 from Myoko using public transport during winter, it is possible to do so via Iiyama Station. At all other times, it is easiest to do so via Nagano Station from where an express bus runs directly to Kanbayashi Onsen – where the park is located – or alternatively, use the Nagano Dentetsu railway to Yudanaka Station – the nearest train station to the park – and from there, take a local bus to the park. 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.



From Myoko Kogen, you have two options to access the park using public transport:

1 / From Myoko Kogen Station: take the Shinano Kitashinano Line from Myoko Kogen Station to Nagano Station – 45 minutes / JPY850 – and then follow the directions below.

2 / From Joetsu-Myoko Station: take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Iiyama Station – 12 minutes / JPY1390 – and then follow directions below*

*If you are coming from Joetsu-Myoko Station and the bus times from Iiyama do not work for you, you can stay on the shinkansen to Nagano Station – another 11 minutes – and follow the directions below.



When coming from Myoko Kogen Station, the monkey park can be accessed via Nagano Station. Once at Nagano 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 JPY1600 and take at least 55 to 60 minutes (depending on train and bus timetables).

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 with payment by cash or credit card equipped with the tap to pay feature. To check the bus schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Express Bus Timetable’ page.


Limited express services on the Nagano Dentetsu Line take approximately 45 minutes and cost JPY1,290 one-way. Local services from Nagano to Yudanaka are only slighter cheaper – at JPY1,190 – 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.



Unfortunately, the bus line that once ran between Iiyama Station and the Monkey Park is no longer in operation due to the driver shortage currently affecting Japan. We do not know when, if ever, it will return to service. For that reason, at the moment the only way to reach the Monkey Park from Iiyama Station would be to take a taxi or charter a vehicle.



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.



The best and easiest way to experience the Monkey Park for yourself is on a tour. To that end, here at Snow Monkey Resorts we have prepared a number of ways for visitors to enjoy the park with a friendly and helpful guide by their side. Whether you are looking for private or group options, or even vehicle only private charters, we have something for you.

Designed specifically for guests staying in Myoko Kogen, this private tour will bring you and your group to more than just the Monkey Park. Starting with a trip to the Monkeys, followed by lunch at a 170 year old farmhouse and a stop at the charming town of Obuse, this tour will take you all the way to the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano. Then, we will drop you off at a point of your choice, either in Nagano City or back at your hotel in Myoko.

Although this tour does not start from Myoko, it offers pickup at Nagano Station offering easy access by train from Myoko Kogen. As a group tour, it is more cost effective than the above private tour but still includes a jam-packed itinerary with a morning visit to the Zenkoji Temple as well as Sake Tasting and Lunch. With full bellies, our vehicle will take you to the park where your guide will introduce you to the monkeys and their lifestyle. In the Winter Season, pick up and drop off from Hakuba are also included.


And last but certainly not least, if you do not require a guide we are happy to offer private charter services. Our vehicles can pick you up straight from where you are in Myoko (or elsewhere) and bring you to the Monkey Park and any other destinations along the way you may be interested in. We have vehicles of multiple different sizes and storage capacities, so even for large groups of more than 15 people we are able to respond and bring you where you need to go. For more information on pricing and availability, please click the link above.

Other Snow Monkey Park / Myoko Kogen Pages