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Go Slow & Discover Yamanouchi – Snow Monkeys, Ski Resorts & A Whole Lot More!Visitors to Nagano will almost certainly of heard of the Jigokudani Monkey Park and its now famous, hot-spring loving monkeys! One of Nagano’s most popular destinations, the monkeys c...
Discover the Kii Peninsula – Japan’s Inspiring Spiritual NexusIn our recent blog, ‘Explore Central Japan – Using the Tokaido Shinkansen to Reach Nagoya & Beyond!’ – we highlighted Nagoya as one of the region’s most attractive destinations and a convenie...
Enjoy Nagano in Summer – Open Spaces, Cool Evenings & Lots to Do!If you are living in Nagano or headed this way over the next few weeks, it’s a great time to enjoy some of the many attractions and activities on offer in and around the city. Nagano isn’t immune...
#TRAVELTOMORROW: Visit Kanazawa – One of Central Japan’s Most Enjoyable CitiesSitting in north-west corner of Central Japan, Kanazawa is a popular stop on the route from Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka. Terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line running from Tokyo via Nagano, along...
#TRAVELTOMORROW: Kusatsu Onsen – One of Japan’s Most Famous Hot Spring TownsLying nearby Karuizawa, Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan’s most famous ‘onsen’ (hot spring) towns. For many if not most Japanese, the town is instantly recognisable due to its immense ‘yubatake’, an...
#TRAVELTOMORROW: Eat, Shop, Play – Visit KaruizawaNestled high in the mountains between Tokyo and Nagano, Karuizuawa is a small resort town that attracts visitors at all times of year. Notably cooler than Tokyo in summer, beautiful in spring and...
#TRAVELTOMORROW: Clean Green & Healthy – Discover Central JapanWhen researching and planning a visit to Japan, understanding the regions and which areas are nearby others, can be a little confusing – particularly for first-time visitors. While some n...
The Taste of Nagano: 18 Foods You Must TryThe old saying goes that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. From my own experience, this applies to women too! So it stands to reason that the food we enjoy when we are on holiday can ...
2020 Nagano Cherry Blossom ForecastKnown as 'sakura', cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japan and are seen to embody the fragile beauty of life itself. As the weather warms in spring, the flowers bloom and Japan will emerge from th...
Bright Light in the Winter Night: Combine Your Visit to the Snow Monkeys with a Winter Festival in NaganoAs host of the 1998 Winter Olympics and home to around 80 ski resorts along with the famous hot spring-bathing monkeys of Jigokudani, Nagano is synonymous with winter. Offering abundant snow in clos...
TRADITIONAL CRAFT EXPERIENCES IN NAGANO CITY: MORNING & AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES NEAR ZENKO-JI TEMPLE!One of the main attractions for many visitors to Japan, are the numerous beautiful crafts that play such an important role in traditional and contemporary culture. Although one of the world’s most...
RECOMMENDED FIREWORKS FESTIVALS IN NAGANOYou can't say that you have experienced the Japanese summer until you see one of Japan's astonishing fireworks festivals! Fireworks in Japan are an essential summer tradition with a long history and a...
ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY & ENJOY THE BEST OF JAPAN THIS AUTUMN! BEST DAY TOURS FROM TOKYO DURING THE RUGBY WORLD CUP 2019!The world will turn its focus to Japan this autumn, as it hosts the Rugby World Cup from September 20th to November 2nd 2019. With 13 host venues spread throughout Japan – from Hokkaido in the nor...
FESTIVALS AND FIREWORKS! EXCLUSIVE SUMMER TOURS IN THE MATSUMOTO-AZUMINO AREA IN NAGANOIf you want to spend the summer in the true Japanese way, you cannot pass up seeing one of Japan’s massive fireworks shows or going to an exciting local summer festival. We have two exclusive tour...
SNOW MONKEY RESORTS WINTER TOURS & CHARTERS! START PLANNING YOUR NAGANO SKI & SNOWBOARD ADVENTURE FOR WINTER 2019/20!Winter is never far away – or at least never out of mind – here in Nagano. With the past winter having come late but then refusing to call it quits, and ultimately blessing us with a massive amoun...
NAGANO’S BEST SPRING/SUMMER TOURS! COMBINE TOURS & CREATE YOUR OWN MULTIDAY PACKAGE!As Nagano’s No.1 tour operator, Snow Monkey Resorts continues to welcome new and old friends into the region, as more and more people discover the seasonal beauty of Central Japan. There’s never a...
INTRODUCING AZUMINO: 15 THINGS TO DO IN NAGANO’S NEXT MUST-VISIT DESTINATION!Nagano is home to most of Japan's highest mountains, spread across three mountain ranges that collectively make-up the Japanese Alps. This dramatic landscape offers visitors some of the most impressiv...
9 Things to Do in NAGANO This WinterWe are now officially into winter and while the snow is a little late this year, sooner or later it will begin to fall in abundance. Most famous as a winter destination, Nagano has so much to offer ...
ZENKO-JI OMOTESANDO ILLUMINATION: A GREAT WAY TO EXPLORE NAGANO AT NIGHT!*Please note, the illumination of the temple - scheduled for December 2019 - has been moved to February 22nd to March 1st 2020. As a result, our tour will operate on the same days in February and Marc...
INTRODUCING OUR NEW 2-DAY SNOW MONKEY TOUR: NAGANO TO TAKAYAMA via MATSUMOTONagano and the surrounding regions that make-up central Japan are a place of natural beauty, typified by high mountain peaks, and deep culture found in its historic towns, temples and castles. Often o...
COMBINE THE SNOW MONKEYS WITH AUTUMN LEAVES IN SHIGA KOGEN AND LUXURY RYOKAN VISITViewing autumn leaves, called koyo in Japanese, is after cherry blossom-viewing the most beloved seasonal activity for the Japanese. If you're planning on visiting the Snow Monkey Park in fall, we rec...
INTRODUCING OUR NEW SNOW MONKEY WINTER TOUR FROM HAKUBA!Snow Monkey Resorts is excited to announce our award-winning 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour is now available to guests based in Hakuba this winter, with a daily shuttle servic...
VISITING ZENKO-JI: ONE OF JAPAN’S MOST ACTIVE & WELCOMING TEMPLESNagano’s Zenko-ji Temple is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist complexes in Japan with a near-1400 year history. A place of true religious significance, legend, and myth, Zenko-ji is the he...
THE 3 BEST ‘ONSENS’ (HOT SPRINGS) NEAR THE SNOW MONKEY PARKThe snow monkey region is famous for its numerous 'onsens' (natural hot springs) that bubble to the ground throughout the mountains. Mainly found in the town of Yudanaka, Shibu, and Kanbayashi Onsens,...
NAGANO’S ‘ENNICHI’ SUMMER FESTIVAL: EAT, DRINK, DANCE!Summer in Japan is synonymous with heat, humidity, and more enticingly, festivals! While ‘matsuri’ (festivals) take place throughout the year and for countless (often obscure) reasons summer is the se...
ZENKO-JI OMOTESANDO ILLUMINATION: NAGANO’S FAMOUS TEMPLE COMES TO LIGHT!*Please note, the illumination of the temple – scheduled for December 2019 – has been moved to February 22nd to March 1st 2020. As a result, our tour will operate on the same days in February and ...
SNOW MONKEY AREA FAVORITES: HOTEL SENJUKAKUOne of the most famous attractions is Nagano Prefecture is the Snow Monkey Park. If you are coming to see the snow monkeys in their own habitat and want to get a place to stay overnight, we have a rec...
YUDANAKA SUMMER FESTIVAL: PARTY LIKE A LOCAL!You may not know the name but you know the place! Yudanaka Onsen (and the unsurprisingly named Yudanaka Station) is the final stop on the Nagano Dentetsu train and the nearest station to the Snow Monk...
IT’S ALMOST SUMMER & TIME TO CELEBRATE: NAGANO CITY’S BINZURU DANCE FESTIVALAs we head toward summer in Japan, it means one thing – festivals, lots of them! Japanese love a matsuri (festival) and whether you are a visitor to Japan, or living here yourself, there’s no better t...
VISITING ZENKO-JI TEMPLE: EXPERIENCE 3 ESSENTIAL JAPANESE BUDDHIST PRACTICESNagano City is home to one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples, Zenko-ji. Located within an easy 20 minute walk from JR Nagano Station, the temple is one of the most popular attract...
Togakushi : A Beautiful And Easy Daytrip From Nagano CityNestled in the mountains to the west of Nagano City, Togakushi is famous for its natural beauty and spiritual significance. It is a place of dramatic seasonal change experiencing heavy snowfall in win...
SNOW MONKEYS & CHERRY BLOSSOM TOUR: THANK YOU TO ALL OUR GUESTS & LOOKING FORWARD TO CHERRY BLOSSOM TOURS IN 2019!As spring continues to warm this year’s cherry blossom season has come to an end. During April, Snow Monkey Resorts welcomed many guests to the region on our 1-Day Snow Monkeys and Cherry Blossom Tou...
2018/4/19 NAGANO CHERRY BLOSSOM UPDATEThe blossoms are now coming into full bloom across Nagano including at Yamanouchi and Kanbayashi Onsen - home to our favorite furry residents, the snow monkeys! The small and quiet streets of Kanbaya...
2018/4/12 NAGANO CHERRY BLOSSOM UPDATECherry blossoms, known locally as 'sakura', play an important role in Japanese society. Blooming sometime between late-March (at the earliest) and early-May (at the very latest), these beautiful flow...
NAGANO FAVORITES: HOTEL KOKUSAI 21Nagano City has a great many hotels, being the capital of Nagano Prefecture and the capital of the 1998 Olympics. One favourite hotel we'd like to introduce is Hotel Kokusai 21, one of the most high-c...
SHIGA KOGEN: FIRST SNOW FESTIVALWhen the first snow starts falling from the sky in November, the ski slopes of Shiga Kogen start their preparations for the winter season. Skiing in the largest ski resorts of Japan is possible very e...
Uruoikan: the Only Natural Onsen in Nagano CityUruoikan is a hot spring facility in Nagano City. Located within walking distance of Nagano Station and positioned next to the Susobana River, Uruoikan is the only 100% natural onsen in the city off...
NAGANO CITY: FINDING THE KEY TO PARADISE AT ZENKO-JI TEMPLEOne of the main things to do when visiting the temple complex of Zenko-ji, is to find the Key to Paradise. In the main hall of Zenko-ji, under the inner sanctuary and the main altar which holds Japan'...
NAGANO CITY: GET BLESSED AT ZENKO-JI’S BUDDHIST MORNING RITUALThe morning service, also called "o-asaji" at Zenko-ji Temple, is one of the most interesting activities that you could partake in while you are in Nagano City. What's "o-asaji"?  ...
SHIBU ONSEN: TOURING THE 9 HOT SPRINGSClose to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is a little town called Shibu Onsen. Shibu Onsen is famous for its long history with hot springs (onsen in Japanese). From 600 AC., many Japanese have traveled...
SUMMER ACTIVITIES IN THE SNOW MONKEY AREAEven though this region is called the Snow Monkey area, we have more than six months without snow. Our Spring, Summer, and Autumn all have their own attractions. In this article we will expand on the ...
CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON/SITES IN NORTHERN NAGANOWhen you ask people to name three things that define Japan they usually name Mount Fuji, geisha, and cherry blossoms. Nagano Prefecture is quite far from Fuji and we would advise you to go to Kyoto to...
NINJAS AT TOGAKUSHIIn a previous article we talked about Togakushi's Okusha Shrine. Today we would like to introduce to another popular attraction in Togaukshi - the fascinating Ninja Museum! But firstly, who were the...
AUTUMN IN JAPANWatching the reds, oranges and yellows of the autumn leaves is the next best thing to watching the cherry blossoms bloom to the Japanese. When the summer heat of August cools down and ch...
BE LIKE A MONK AT ZENKO-JI TEMPLEThere are many Buddhist temples in Japan and tourists, both Japanese and foreign, enjoy taking photos of these holy places. But one remains on the fringes of Buddhism by just taking photos. There are ...
TOGAKUSHI SHRINE OKUSHAShinto is the religion indigenous to Japan and its rituals play a big part in everyday life. Unlike the majority of religions the Shinto religion has no official scripture. Japanese people who practic...
SOBA NOODLE – NAGANO’S SIGNATURE FOODA trip to Nagano could never be complete without trying some of the local specialities. In Nagano, “soba noodles” is the most popular signature dish. Most Japanese tourists have it on top of their “Wh...
INFORMATION ABOUT ONSEN IN THE AREAWanting to enter an onsen, a Japanese hot bath, but feeling insecure about how to? Then please look at the 'How to' article to learn the basics! Here we will introduce you to some of the onsen in t...
How To: Bathe at an ‘Onsen’Love taking baths? Then the Japanese 'onsen', or hot spring bath in English, is perfect for you. An onsen is not just for washing but also for relaxing your muscles. It is also quite good for your h...