From Shiga Kogen: How to Get to the Snow Monkey Park
Nestled within the Joshinetsu Mountain Range, 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.
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 Kogen was 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.
Directions to the Monkey Park from Shiga Kogen
Nagaden operates services connecting Shiga Kogen to Yudanaka Station via the Jigokudani Monkey Park on the Shiga Kogen Line. 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 between 30 to 60 minutes and will cost between JPY580 to JPY1100, 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.
Visit the Monkey Park on a Guided Tour from Shiga Kogen
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.
In winter, our Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour and Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen Tour both combine morning activities at the resort with lunch and early afternoon visit to the Snow Monkey Park. Starting and ending at Nagano Station, these tours also have the option of pick-up and drop-off in the following points in Shiga Kogen – Hasuike, Ichinose and Prince Hotels West, South and East in Yakebitai – along with Yudanaka Station.
We can also provide private tours and charters from Shiga Kogen 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 ski resort in the region.
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 Shiga Kogen? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!