Yudanaka is a small station and terminus of the Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) Line. Located in the centre of Yudanaka Onsen – part of Yamaounchi town – it is the nearest train station to the Jigokudani Monkey Park and nearby Shiga Kogen Ski Resort. From the station, the ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are also within easy reach.
As such, the station sees heavy traffic – particularly in winter – as visitors from all over the world use the station enroute to the monkeys and Shiga Kogen.
Train Services to and from Yudanaka Station
Yudanaka Station is the terminus of the Nagaden Line – which run and from Nagano Station and includes the following stations:
NAGANO / SHIYAKUSHO-MAE* / GONDO / ZENKOJI-SHITA / HONGO* / KIRIHARA / SHINANOYOSHIDA* / ASAHI* / FUZOKUCHUGAKUMAE / YANAGIHARA / MURAYAMA / HINO / SUZAKA / KITASUZAKA / OBUSE / TSUSUMI / SAKURASAWA / ENTOKU / SHINSHU-NAKANO / NAKANO-MATSUKAWA / SHINANO-TAKEHARA / YOMASE / KAMIJO / YUDANAKA
NAGANO DENTETSU LINE MAP
*These stations are stops for ‘B Limited Express’ services which operate at various times through the day. Not all limited express services will stop at these stations however all express services stop at all stations marked red.
For an overview of the Nagano dentetsu Line – including types of services, seating, fares, ticketing and travel passes, and directions to the Nagaden office and ticket gates – please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line’ page.
For a listing of daily train services, please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line Timetable’ page. Multiple express and local services run from/to Yudanaka Station and Nagano Station every day. Whether you intend to use either service, all seating is non-reserved. Ticket machines and a ticket window are available at Yudanaka Station immediately next to ticket gates.
As a single-track station, access to the platform is only through one side of the station, meaning that you can’t get lost. The station is open to the elements with a waiting room open to the public – a good option in winter when the weather will be cold.
In winter, staff with basic English should be on-hand to assist. Regardless of whether they are, or the time of year you visit, staff are friendly and will always do their best to assist.
Bus Services to and from Yudanaka Station
Two public bus lines operate from directly in front of Yudanaka Station: the Kanbayashi Line and Shiga Kogen Line.
Either service will drop you nearby the Jigokudani Monkey Park – buses stops are at the bottom of Kanbayashi Onsen, only 7 to 10-minutes walk from the park – and cost JPY310 per adult and JPY160 per child.
The Shiga Kogen Line transports visitors to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort– via the monkey park – with travel time and costs dependent on where in the resort you are headed. As a guide, the following stops are included*:
For further regarding how to use the local bus services, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus’ page.
*Please note, due to weather and road conditions in winter, services can be delayed and travel times can be extended.
Ryuoo Ski Park Shuttle Bus
Yudanaka Station is the nearest major station to the four ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen. All four resorts are within 20-minutes drive of the station, with the largest of the four – Ryuoo Ski Park – operating a free shuttle bus to and from Yudanaka Station every day through winter. The bus operates from directly outside the station:
Taxis and Public Parking
A taxi stand is directly across from the station. For people driving themselves, Yudanaka is a small station and finding a park nearby should not be difficult. Avoid parking directly in front of the station, as many nearby guesthouses run shuttles to and from the station to collect and drop-off guests. This area can be hectic during winter, therefore its best to park elsewhere. If you drive past the station and directly ahead, you will see an open parking area lower on your left-hand side. Just look for the other parked cars. You can park there free-of-charge
Facilities at the Station
Don’t expect much. Yudanaka Station is small and outside of winter, is usually quiet. As a result, the station doesn’t have much in the way of facilities other than:
Kaede no Yu
OK… the station doesn’t have a lot but it does have its own ‘onsen’ (natural hot spring) – try to find one of those in Tokyo or Shinjuku Stations! Kaede no Yu is open daily from 10:00 to 21:00 (last entry at 20:30), and costs JPY300 to use. The hot springs are segregated by gender with access to the onsen on the backside of the station.
Directly in front of the hot spring entrance, a public foot onsen is free to use while you wait for your train. Enjoyable any time of year, this is a great way to kill time and feel all the better for it.
Located inside the station next to the ticket gates and window, GOEN Deli serves takeaway snacks and drinks from 09:00 to 17:00. Their tasty menu includes fried chicken, fries, sushi rolls, cakes and muffins along with hot and cold drinks – all of which can be taken on the train.
The deli is handled by staff from always popular Japanese Dining GOEN and are not necessarily on-hand at all times. Should you require services, simply press the bell and they’ll dash across to assist you.
Nearby Restaurants & Attractions
Directly across from the station, Japanese Dining GOEN is a popular restaurant with both locals and international visitors. GOEN’s menu is built around taste! Offering all the best Japanese staples including yakitori, tempura, and wagyu beef along with Western favorites, there’s something for everyone.
Many if not most visitors to Yudanaka Station will be on there way to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Home to a now world-famous troop of hot spring-loving monkeys, the park is open all year round with each season offering its own unique reasons to visit.
While at the park, Enza Café offers good food, friendly service and an open and relaxed atmosphere. Situated just down from the forest trail leading to the park, the café serves a mixed menu of Japanese and Western favorites along with ENZA originals such as chicken ramen – great in winter – and tasty summer burgers. Local craft beers, coffee, smoothies and a range of tasty options round-out this casual, friendly, and enjoyable local café.
Also within walking distance of the park, Hotaru-tei offers fine dining in the historic surroundings of a 160-year old converted mansion. Serving a traditional Japanese menu including warming ‘nabe’ hotpot, tempura, wagyu beef along with sushi and sashimi sets, Hotaru-tei provides an outstanding dining experience within walking distance of the monkey park.
From there, it’s a short journey to Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen. Nestled within the beautiful Joshinestu Kogen National Park, Shiga boasts Nagano’s longest ski season and most reliable snow – the perfect winter destination in combination with the monkeys. Outside of winter, Joshinetsu Kogen National Park offers visitors fantastic hiking and nature photography – home to unique alpine flora and fauna.
When visiting any of these destinations, Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen offer numerous traditional guesthouses, most of which have their own natural hot springs. Interesting destinations in their own right, Shibu boasts a 1300-year history as a onsen town once used to rest and rejuvenate battle-weary samurai.
The Snow Monkey Pass
Valid for use for 2 days following activation, the Snow Monkey Pass allows for unlimited use on the Nagaden Dentetsu Line, Nagaden express and local buses 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 Nagaden trains and buses and enter the park free of charge.
*Please note, this pass does not cover express bus services to Shiga Kogen.