Zenko-ji 'Gokaicho' Festival

Zenko-ji 'Gokaicho' Festival

Visitors heading to Nagano in the first-half of 2022 have the chance to join one of Japan’s great Buddhist festivals, with the city’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple hosting the ‘Zenko-ji Maedaichi Honzon Gokaicho’ or more simply, the ‘Gokaicho’. Held every six to seven years, the festival celebrates the history and heritage of the temple – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan – over several months.


The festival was due to take place in 2021 however due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, was postponed until 2022 with the scheduled extended from late-March until late-June. In that time numerous events and ceremonies will take place, as the temple attracts millions of visitors from around Japan and the world. For full details, see our ‘Zenko-ji Gokaicho 2022: Everything You Need to Know’ main page.


Throughout the festival period, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour will operating everyday – a great way to enjoy the temple at one of the most special times in combination with ‘sake’ tasting, lunch and an early afternoon visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. The early stages of the festival should coincide with temple’s cherry blossom trees blooming and with the year’s baby monkeys typically appearing in the park from late-April onward, the tour promises to be especially worthwhile in 2022 while the Gokaicho is in full-swing.


Event times vary

Late-March to late-June 2022


Approximately 60 to 70-minutes from the Jigokudani Monkey Park

Reaching the festival on foot from Nagano Station is quick and easy. Simply exit via the Zenkoji Exit and follow the crowds toward the temple - approx. a 1.6km / 20-minute walk