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

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


Nestled within Joshinetsu National Park, Shiga Kogen is not only Japan’s most extensive area of interconnected ski fields, but the largest ski resort in Asia. It is also the closet significant ski fields to the Snow Monkey Park, and thus is extremely popular with visitors wanting to combine their ski trip with a visit to the park. On this page you will find the following information:

Where is the Jigokudani Monkey Park?

Directions to the Park from Shiga Kogen

Monkey Park General Information

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

Tours and Charters to Shiga Kogen and the Monkey Park

As Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen offers skiers and snowboarders and unparalleled extent of interconnected terrain – around 80 runs or over 600 ha of terrain connected by more than 50 chair-lifts and gondolas – including the highest ski fields in Japan. That altitude also blesses Shiga with Nagano’s longest season and most reliable snow – starting as early as mid-November and running into May (depending on the conditions of the season). As such, visiting Shiga Kogen in winter offers some of Japan’s best skiing and snowboarding.


Most famous for having hosted several events during the 1998 Winter Olympics, Shiga Kogen is increasingly also seen as a destination during the green season, as Japanese and international visitors alike head into the mountains to escape the intense heat and humidity of the cities and get active with pursuits including hiking, trail running, paddle-boarding, and more!


Shiga sits within Joshinestsu Kogen National Park – Japan’s fourth largest national park – and roughly corresponds with Shiga Kogen Highlands. Designated a ‘Biosphere Conservation Area (or Eco Park) by UNESCO in 1981, in recognition of the importance of its natural and unique ecosystems, its array of native flora and fauna, and as a landscape representative of a successful ‘coexistence of nature and society’. In short, Shiga Kogen offers visitors world-class snow conditions in winter and a wealth of natural beauty and equally energetic pursuits in spring, summer, and autumn – including the stunning autumn leaves of Nagano.


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 15KM / 25-minutes drive to the west of Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki and 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 using public transport from Shiga Kogen, you can choose between express and local bus services that connect the ski resort to Nagano Station and Yudanaka. When staying at the resort, Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki will be the most convenient transport hub with express bus services running to and from Nagano Station via the monkey park, while local bus services stop at the park enroute between Yudanaka Station – the nearest train station to the ski resort – and Shiga Kogen. 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 that includes the park, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, the smaller ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen, multiple hot spring villages and large parts of Joshinetsu Kogen National Park.



Nagaden operates both express and local services to Shiga Kogen that include stops at the monkey park and Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki. During winter, express bus services depart regularly throughout the day, taking less than 20-minutes to reach the park and costing JPY700 and JPY1200 depending on where in Shiga Kogen you board the bus. Alternatively, local bus services also run to the park. Regular daily services mean the journey is simple however the length of time and cost of journey to the park varies depending on which part of Shiga you are coming from. As a rough approximation, it will take a little over 20 minutes and the cost will be similar to the Express Bus, at between JPY700 to JPY1200, depending on where you board the bus in Shiga. For many, using the bus to and from the Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki (Mountain Station) will be the most convenient option. No reservation is needed. You simply buy your ticket on the bus (when disembarking). For further information regarding how to use local buses, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus’ page.



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.


For those interested in visiting Shiga Kogen and the Snow Monkey Park, look no further than our tour and charter offerings. With tours that visit the area, and tours that drop you off conveniently close, as well as charters to and from Shiga Kogen, we have you covered on all aspects of your trip.

For those looking to visit the Monkey Park, look no further than this highly rated, 1-Day tour of the area. Combining a morning trip to Zenkoji Temple and lunch in Nagano City with a visit to park in the afternoon, this tour offers pickup from Nagano Station year round and also Hakuba in the winter season. Conveniently, guests on this tour can also choose to leave the tour at the Monkey Park and catch the Nagaden Express Bus to Shiga Kogen instead of taking the tour bus back to Nagano. While the express bus fee is not covered under the tour cost, this option is still a steal as it allows you to partake in a fun tour while also not needing to pay for the portion of the journey from Nagano to the Monkey Park (as it is part of the tour).

If you are looking for a more private option, we also offer private tours including pick up and drop off at Shiga Kogen with a very similar itinerary to the above group tour. Please click the banner above for more information and to book a tour.

If you aren’t a huge ski fan, and only want to enjoy the snow in Shiga Kogen for a little while before seeing the monkeys, this tour is for you. Start in the morning with a trip to Shiga Kogen, wherein you will have time to play on a groomed snow field with fun items such as sleds and snow scoots. After you’ve had your fill of snow (and a filling lunch) in Shiga Kogen, you will next be taken to the Monkey Park for a charming afternoon before being returned to Nagano Station.


For those looking for easier transport to and from Shiga Kogen and the Monkey Park, we also offer private charter services. With the start and end points of your journey up to you, you can freely create, or ask us to help create, an itinerary for either a short excursion or a whole day out. We can even pick you up or drop you off at areas as far away as the Haneda or Narita Airports.

Other Snow Monkey Park / Shiga Kogen Pages