Nagano in Spring: Blossoms, Baby Monkeys & Skiing!
Typically blooming from the first week of the month onward, visiting Nagano in April is a spectacular time of year. As the days warm and the blossoms come into full bloom, Nagano emerges from its long, cold winter and families and friends gather to enjoy the flowers together.
Nagano’s higher elevation and surrounding alpine landscape offer visitors some unique experiences and activities, which can be enjoyed in combination with the blossoms:
Spring is a quiet time of year at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. With the snow now melted, daily visitor numbers quickly drop away from those experienced in the winter peak season. But with the monkeys still visiting the park in big numbers, spring offers a very special reason to visit – baby monkeys!
Born from mid to late-April onward – and therefore roughly coinciding with the second half of Nagano’s blossom season – the baby monkeys will emerge in the park and begin the first awkward exploration of their world at this time.
With no barriers separating visitors from the monkeys, the park offers a truly unique opportunity to get close to the babies. Mothers keep a firm grip on their tiny rear legs to stop them escaping yet the new mums are relaxed enough to allow visitors to get a good look at their little ones – who stare back with large, glassy eyes of wonder.
Spring skiing in Shiga Kogen
Located within easy reach of the Jigokudani Monkey Park, Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest and highest ski resort. Being the highest resort in the land affords Shiga with Nagano’s longest ski season, which – in a good year – will stretch well into May.
With the blossoms in bloom below, Shiga Kogen offers Nagano’s best spring skiing and snowboarding. Consisting of 18 ski areas spread across Japan’s largest expanse of connected ski fields, the majority of the resort will be open in April. Open but very quiet.
Relatively unknown to international visitors who are yet to discover the outstanding spring skiing it offers, the spring snow of Shiga is legendary for locals. Ski runs remain full of snow but empty of people. On weekdays you are likely to have long ski runs all to yourself – a truly fantastic spring experience.
When visiting Shiga Kogen in spring, our recommendation is Hotel Grand Phenix. Located deep in the resort at the base of the Okushiga ski fields, Grand Phenix offers guests ski in/out convenience, spacious Western-style rooms, fine dining and many other features which ensure an indulgent stay and best possible spring skiing experience.
Want to combine any of these activities or destinations on a private tour or charter? Feel free to contact us and let’s get planning together!