Getting To & Around Yamanouchi
Most visitors heading to Yamanouchi will do some via Nagano City, with the option of using the train to reach Yudanaka Station or express bus to the Jigokudani Monkey Park and onto Shiga Kogen. For information on how to reach Nagano from locations including Tokyo, Kanazawa, Matsumoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto and the major airports, please refer to our ‘How to Get to Nagano City’ page.
The following information is provided to assist with the basics of getting to Yamanouchi, and once there, moving around. Visitors combining their visit to Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen with the monkey park or other destinations including Obuse or Suzaka, might want to consider purchasing a 2-Day Snow Monkey Pass.
We hope this information assists in planning your visit to Yamanocuhi:
FROM NAGANO STATION
Yudanaka Station is the terminus of the Nagano Dentetsu Line running from Nagano Station. Limited express services from Nagano to Yudanaka take approximately 45 minutes / JPY1290 while local services take 70 to 80 minutes – depending on which train you use – and cost JPY1190. Given the minimal price difference but substantial saving in time, we recommend using limited express services.
To access the Nagaden train platforms at Nagano Station, simply exit the station via the Zenko-ji Exit and proceed down the escalator immediately to your right. Once at the bottom, head to your left and you will soon see the Nagaden ticket window, machines and platforms. Nagaden is a single-track line, making it easy to know which train to board.
For the daily train schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentestu Line Timetable’ page. Alternatively, visitors wanting to head directly to the monkey park from Nagano can do so using the Nagaden Snow Monkey Express bus from Nagano Station – see below for details.
TO/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 the 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. Taxis are also available directly outside the station.
*Please note, due to weather and road conditions in winter, services can be delayed and travel times can be extended.
TO/FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK
The monkey park can be reached using local bus services to and from Yudanaka Station – as discussed above – or using the Nagaden Express Bus from Nagano Station. The Snow Monkey Express Bus 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. Many of these services continue onto points in Shiga Kogen.
To check the bus schedule, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Express Bus Timetable’ page.
TO/FROM SHIGA KOGEN
Visitors heading to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, Shiga Kogen Highlands and Joshnetsu Kogen National Park can do so using local buses from Yudanaka Station or the express bus originating at Nagano Station. Once at Shiga, buses operate from various points covering most major points of interest. In winter, buses function as free shuttles within the ski resort. For many visitors heading to Shiga Kogen, using the Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Station will be a convenient point to disembark and board bus services. For full details, please refer to our ‘How To: Getting to Shiga Kogen Using Public Transport’ page.
TO/FROM KITA-SHIGA KOGEN
Local buses operate from Yudanaka Station to various points in Kita-Shiga including the ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen including the Skyland Express Ropeway servicing Sora Terrace and (in winter) Ryuoo Ski Park.
FROM KUSATSU ONSEN
Finally, some visitors head to Yamanouchi via the Shiga-Kusatsu Kogen Route. Running from Kusatsu Onsen to Kanbayashi/the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, the scenic route is open from May until mid to late-November. Starting from Kusatsu Onsen, visitors are within easy reach of the popular mountain resort town of Karuizawa – a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa.
Without stopping, the route takes around 2 hours to drive however it’s worth going slow and allowing at least half a day, to stop and enjoy the views and destinations along the way including Mount Shirane and the Yokoteyama Ropeway, and overall beauty of Joshintesu Kogen National Park.
For other visitors heading to Yamanouchi by car, Yamanouchi is readily accessible using Japan’s extensive expressway network which connects the area to central Tokyo in around 4 hours, Nagoya in around 4.5 hours and Osaka in 6-6.5 hours (without stopping).