FROM NAGOYA: HOW TO GET TO THE SNOW MONKEY PARK
Nagoya is one of Japan’s largest cities and a convenient transport hub when moving from east to west Japan, or vice versa. One of the country’s major ports and manufacturing cities – notably, the home of Toyota – Nagoya is a sprawling, modern metropolis.
In recent years, Nagoya has also developed a reputation for good food and a worthwhile destination in itself. Home to Nagoya Castle, the Japan Railways Museum, Legoland, and Nagashima Resort, the popularity of the city continues to grow for international visitors.
Nagoya is a great launching point from where you can explore some of Central Japan’s most enjoyable destinations including the historic Nakasendo Trail, Matsumoto Castle, Kamikochi and of course, the Jigokudani Monkey Park.
To reach the monkey park from Nagoya is a two-stage journey via Matsumoto and onto Nagano*. From Nagano, you then make the onward journey to the park:
1 / From Nagoya Station, take the Shinano Line Limited Express bound for Nagano Station. Regular services run throughout the day and take approximately 175 minutes / JPY6930 to reach Nagano via Matsumoto. The daily train schedule can be found on our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page. This line/service is covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass.
2 / Once at Nagano Station, 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.
Recommended Accommodation in Nagano City
Given the distance and time taken to reach Nagano from Nagoya, we recommend staying in Nagano City for at least one night, 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.
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, making them easily accessible and one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the region. Operating all year round we offer a range of group tours through winter, spring, summer and autumn – including to the monkey park and many other regional destinations. Tours are led by locally-based, English-speaking guides.
We can also provide private tours and charters to any destination, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests. 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 Nagoya? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com and let’s get planning together!