INFORMATION ABOUT THE HIKE TO SNOW MONKEY PARK
Planning a trip to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park? Visiting Nagano’s famous monkeys is a unique and unforgettable experience. To ensure your trip goes smoothly, this page provides information on how to get yourself to the park and get the most out of your trip!
How to get there:
Snow monkey park can be reached by train and bus from JR Nagano Station. Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) provides both services. Whether you buy a ticket at a station (train) or a ticket purchased directly from a driver (express Bus), you do not need to book in advance.
For more information on how to get there, see our page detailing train and bus services from Nagano to Snow Monkey Park.
From the bus stop:
Whether you use the express bus from JR Nagano Station to the park or take a local bus from JR Yudanaka Station, you will get off at Snow Monkey Park bus stop. The stops are very close to the entrance of Monkey Park at the foot of the mountain.
When you get off, just follow the signs to guide you uphill to the park. Any reasonable fitness can handle this kind of walking, but please be careful in winter. This road can become icy, so go slowly and watch your steps.
There are public toilets in the park, but before you start walking along the trail. As you head towards the footpath entrance, you will pass the parking lot on the right and have a very visible toilet. This is the last public toilet before going to the park (another 30-35 minute walk).
Breakfast and lunch options before heading to the park:
Enza Café is the closest restaurant to Snow Monkey Park and serves Japanese and Western dishes, coffee and other drinks, including wine. Enza is a great place to stop and rest before heading out or traveling.
Enza’s menu includes delicious chicken ramen, burritos, sushi, fried chicken and french fries, coffee, hot chocolate, refreshing soft drinks and juices, and alcoholic beverages. Most menus can be taken out, but please note that food and drinks cannot be taken into the park. Any food you own must be hidden in a closed bag and the monkey cannot see it.
From the parking lot (shortly before the entrance to the trail), you will pass the Enza Café. The cafe also has toilets, but only for customers.
Enza provides dustbins for their customers, but these are not suitable for public use. There are no other trash cans in front of the park, so trash must be carried in and out by tourists. Again, make sure this is hidden because monkeys will be just as interested in food packaging.
Ready to walk along the trail:
From Enza Café, you will soon reach the trail entrance. To the left of the trail, you can’t miss Snow Monkey Resort Information and Gift Shop. The English-speaking staff can provide you with any information you might need to know, and the store sells a variety of monkey supplies, rental boots and jackets during the winter.
Tickets for Snow Monkey Park are not sold here and there are no toilets. Tickets for the park are purchased at the park itself, at the end of the trail.
Weather conditions in winter can be severe, with low temperatures and heavy snow expected. In winter, you must wear suitable footwear and clothing to ensure your comfort and safety. Info & Gift Shop offers rental boots (JPY800) and jackets (JPY500). Luggage can also be stored here when you are in the park (500 yen).
You can also buy a range of items, including gloves and hats. You can buy crampons (metal nails attached to the sole) (JPY1350) at the time of purchase. It is strongly recommended to use them in winter, as the slides are very icy and easily fall down, so please be careful.
Follow the forest trail to the park:
The trail to Snow Monkey Park is 1.6 km / 1 mile. When the weather is fine, this is an easy walk and it takes about 25 minutes. However the trail remains not paved. Its condition is good for most of the year and it is easy to relax on foot, but it is affected by weather conditions. It will become muddy in heavy rain, and it will be affected by snow and ice in winter.
The initial part of the trail slopes upward, but this is only 20 meters, after which the path is basically horizontal until the end. The last part of the trail is a somewhat steep concrete stair or a very steep paved path above the park. Anyone can do this, but be careful in winter and take your time.
Enter Jigokudani Monkey Park:
The park itself is on top of the stairs. Staff at the window can buy tickets directly. For opening hours, prices and other information, please see our Snow Monkey Park Information Page. We look forward to seeing you here!