Autumn (Sep-Nov) at the Jigokudani Monkey Park

Autumn (Sep-Nov) at the Jigokudani Monkey Park

Snow monkey in a tree

Autumn is a delightful time at the Jigokudani Monkey Park and throughout Nagano. Though the temperature is likely to remain high during September, the humidity of summer will be gone leaving us with hot days, that quickly cool to lovely warm days. On this page you will find the following information:

What to Expect in Autumn

Recommended Activities in Autumn

Join an Autumn Tour

25 Things to Do Around the Park & Where to Stay

As September turns to October, the landscape begins its transformation of color. Turning from October until well into November, the autumn leaves of Nagano are a truly spectacular sight. Also a time of harvest, Nagano’s rice is being cut and collected from the fields while apples are being picked from the orchards. We simply can’t recommend autumn enough!

For information regarding opening times, entry tickets and access please refer to our ‘Snow Monkey Park Information’ page, while our ‘The Snow Monkey FAQs’ page answers the most common questions when planning a visit. For a glimpse of what to expect in autumn, our monthly capture blogs capture some of the typical monkey antics: September 2020 / November 2020 / October 2021



Autumn is a time of abundance. With the forest full of wild fruit, nuts and more, the monkeys are their happiest. It is also mating season, so they are well and truly preoccupied.  As a result, there are days in the autumn when the monkeys might not come. But this is rare. It is more likely that they will come to the park later than usual. When visiting in autumn, it’s a good idea to aim for the middle of the day – from 11AM to 3PM – just in case the monkeys feel like coming later and planning to spend a little longer there to accommodate their monkey schedule.

Days are likely to remain warm until well into November but temperatures can drop quickly. Dress for warm days but with a jacket and sweater that will keep you warm if there’s a sudden change. Autumn is typically dry, making the walk to and from the park along the forest trail really enjoyable. As always, we recommend good quality footwear and it is always worth be prepared for the walk to the park in winter.


During summer, the Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop will be closed until late-September however nearby Enza Café will sell the same merchandise, including official souvenirs, and can provide English-language information. Toward the end of September or beginning of October, the Info & Gift Shop will reopen and remain open through the rest of autumn and winter.


Further down the hill and nearby the bus stops, Hotarutei offers visitors the nearest fine-dining experience to the monkey park Housed in a converted 170-year old farmhouse.


From September to November there will be a huge variation in temperature. Expect temperatures of between 20°C  to 30°C  to begin – thankfully, without the humidity of summer – before late-October and into November bringing daytime highs of between 10°C  to 15°C . Usually sunny with big blue skies, this is a lovely time of year to visit. For information regarding other seasons in the monkey park, please refer our ‘Snow Monkey Park Throughout the Year’ page.



Autumn is a time of beauty and abundance in Nagano. A final chance to enjoy the warmth of the sun before the long cold winter. So make the most of it and get exploring with these recommended activities:


As a place of mountains and abundant forests, Nagano is one of the best places to enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves of Japan. Known as ‘koyo’ in Japanese, the stunning colours of the autumn leaves are cherished and valued, much like the cherry blossoms of spring. The exact timing of the leaves varies from year-to-year and depending on the altitude and location of each area. From late-September onward, the landscape will start to turn and soon be awash with colour – a mosaic of red, gold, amber and brown – as the autumn leaves fill the forests, valleys and mountains through October and November. Needless to say, the higher altitude of Nagano provides the perfect conditions for some of Japan’s most stunning autumn leaves. Looking for the best locations to see the leaves? Please refer to our ‘Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Nagano’ page.


Autumn is a time of harvest meaning there is no better season to try the delicious food of Nagano. Whether it’s the region’s acclaimed Shinshu beef, handmade soba, traditionally-made miso, tsukemono, oyaki or any of its huge and delicious produce including apples, grapes, peaches or chestnuts, a visit to Nagano is sure inspire and delight the foodie inside you!

Blessed with an ideal climate for growing many types of fruit and vegetables, Nagano is most famous for its apples and grapes. From mid-September until mid-November, many farms are open to the public for fruit-picking and to buy directly from the farmer. Many if not most apple orchards in Nagano are family-run making this a great way to meet the local community and support a traditional industry which has defined many towns and villages for generations. For further information, please refer to our ‘Fruit-picking in Nagano’ page.


While the route can be walked any time of year – even in winter, although you need to consider this carefully before attempting it – the Nakasendo Trail is one of Central Japan’s best experiences and one we considered best enjoyed in autumn. Commonly referred to as the ‘Nakasendo Trail’ or ‘Nakasendo Way’ follows a historic route which connected Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo Period. Section can still be walked today, with the route running through the Kiso Valley – known as the Kiso-ji – regarded as the most beautiful and pleasurable to follow.

Passing through heavily forest mountains and over pristine streams and rivers, the trail takes you deep into the heart of Japan. As a place where tradition lives on, the post towns of the Kiso Valley retain their historic character through continued use as places of residence and industry.



Held on November 23rd, Nagano’s Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival is the largest autumn fireworks display in Japan. Dating back to 1899, the display was first held in gratitude to Ebisu – one of Japan’s seven lucky gods – and in prayer and thanks for a prosperous business harvest. Today, the fireworks attract more than 400,000 spectators – a stunning display that celebrates the passing of autumn and heralds that winter is soon to arrive.



In autumn we offer a range of group tours that allow you to enjoy the beauty of Nagano’s open landscapes. Our 1-Day Highlights of Central Japan: Matsumoto Castle & Kamikochi Alpine Valley Tour combines a visit to two of the region’s most iconic destinations while our 1-Day Tateyama-Kurobe: Walking on the ‘Roof of Japan’ Tour takes you high into Japan’s tallest mountain range. Both destinations are known for their beautiful autumn colours which are likely to be at their best from late-September until late-October (depending on the weather conditions of the season).


As detailed above, our 1-Day Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival & Snow Monkeys Tour takes place on November 23rd and includes reserved seating at the event with a visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park – home to the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs – and late lunch at one of the region’s best restaurants. This once a year tour is one of our most popular and is sure to leave a lasting impression long after the fireworks fade away!


Of course, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple and Sake Tour runs throughout the year and combines a morning visit to Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple, followed by a warming sake tasting and lunch, followed by an early afternoon visit to the monkeys. For full details regarding all available tours in spring and throughout the year, refer to our ‘Tours’ main page.



Often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park, you’d be forgiven for thinking the park is only open and the monkeys only venture there in winter. While it’s true they are most famous for their winter antics, the monkeys come to the park all year round and there are just as many reasons to visit in spring, summer and autumn. Located in the beautiful rural enclave of Yamanouchi and within easy reach of Nagano City, visiting the park can be easily combined with plenty of nearby destinations and activities, as a day-trip or multi-day visit. Our ’25 Things To Do Around The Jigokudani Monkey Park & Where To Stay’ page has lots of great tips and suggestions of what’s on offer throughout the year.

Snow Monkey Park