Nagaden Local Bus
The Nagano Dentetsu company, most commonly referred to simply as ‘Nagaden’, operates the majority of train and bus services in and round Nagano City. Making use of their extensive services connects visitors to many of the region’s most popular destinations including the Jigokudani Monkey Park, Suzaka, Obuse, Joshinetsu Kogen National Park including Shiga Kogen Ski Resort along with Nozawa Onsen, Madarao-Tangaram and more.
Nagaden operates local buses covering the region in and around Nagano City along with express buses to popular destinations. This page provides information regarding Nagaden’s local bus services.
For information regarding express bus services, including the Snow Monkey & Shiga Kogen Express Bus, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Express Bus’ page.
Nagaden operates many local bus lines. There red and beige design of the Nagaden buses make them easy to spot. Typical of city and regional buses in many parts of the world, users board the bus at the rear door.
Local lines and service areas include: SHIGA KOGEN-NAKANO DISTRICT (please see below) / NAGANO-SUZAKA DISTRICT / IIYAMA-NOZAWA ONSEN DISTRICT / IIZUNA-SHINANOMACHI DISTRICT
Fares are paid in cash. If you do not have the exact money required, coin and notes can be broken into small denominations using the machine next to the driver. For further information about how to use a local bus, please refer below.
How to Use a Local Bus
Using a local bus can be a little confusing the first time but once onboard, you’ll quickly understand how it works. Just follow these easy steps:
1 / Board the bus from the rear door. As you board, take a white ticket from the ticket machine inside the bus. That ticket will have a number which, when it comes time to get off the bus, will tell you how much to pay. Holders of the Snow Monkey Pass will not have to pay for their fare.
2 / Take a seat and enjoy your journey. While seated, you will see an electronic display at the front of the bus. This board shows the fares – you will notice the fares increasing as the journey continues – against specific numbers i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc. Those numbers correspond to your ticket. For example, if you ticket shows the number 8, simply look at number 8 on the board when it comes to get-off, and the fare below it is what you need to pay.
3 / Unless you are holding an electronic travel card – which most international visitors will not have – or a Snow Monkey Pass, you will need to pay the driver as you disembark. Payment is cash only. Buttons to positioned throughout the bus to disembark at the next stop. Once the bus comes to a halt, walk to the front of the bus and drop your paper ticket, along with your correct fare, in the machine next to the driver and off you get.
4 / If you don’t have the exact fare, don’t panic. Also positioned next to the driver will be a money exchange machine which break JPY1000 and other notes into coins/smaller denominations. Use that to break your note and drop the exact fare into the machine. If you are a group of multiple passengers, adding your fares together into a total is fine. Just make sure to also include all of the tickets.
Should you have any confusion or concerns about using the bus, speak to the driver. They are typically very helpful and keen to assist.
Fares & Timetable
Nagaden operate many bus lines in and around Nagano, with numerous services operating each day including to:
Jigokudani Monkey Park
For visitors heading to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, there are two lines of primary interest in the SHIGA KOGEN-NAKANO DISTRICT: the Kanbayashi Line and Shiga Kogen Line. Operating to and from Yudanaka Station – the nearest train station to the Jigokudani Monkey Park – both services stop at the monkey park with the Shiga Kogen Line then also heading up to the ski resort.
Services to and from the park take 8 to 15-minutes depending on which direction you are heading and cost JPY310 per adult / JPY160 per child (one-way). For details regarding the timetables to and from the monkey park, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus Timetable’ page.
After the park, the two lines take very different routes. The Kanbayshi Line heads away from the mountains, therefore visitors wanting to head to Shiga Kogen must takes the Shiga Kogen Line. The cost and time to Shiga Kogen depends upon which location you disembark but as a guide, expect the following*:
*Please note, due to weather and road conditions in winter, services can be delayed and travel times can be extended.
Visitors heading to Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano City can use buses departing Bus Stop No.1 outside of Nagano Station’s Zenko-ji Exit. Frequent buses run to and from that station. The journey takes only 5 to 7-minutes and costs JPY150.
Ticketing & Travel Passes
Tickets are paid for as you disembark the bus therefore no advance booking is possible. For instructions on how to use a local bus, including paying your fare, please refer to the directions above.
Nagaden’s local bus services to the monkey park (only) are also covered by the Snow Monkey Pass*. Valid for use for 2 days following activation, the Snow Monkey Pass allows for unlimited use on the Nagano Dentetsu Line, Snow Monkey Express Bus and local buses to the park along with one entry to the Jigokudani Monkey Park.
Passes costs JPY3600 per adults (13+) and JPY1800 (6-12). Children under the age of 6 can ride Nagano Dentetsu line and Nagaden buses and enter the park free of charge. Passes can be purchased at the following stations: Nagano / Gondo / Suzaka / Obuse.
For further information, please refer to our “Snow Monkey Pass’ page.
*Please note, the Snow Monkey Pass does not cover bus services to Shiga Kogen.