Information About the Walk to the Snow Monkey Park
Planning a trip to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park? Visiting Nagano’s famous monkeys is a unique and unforgettable experience. To ensure that 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
The park can be reached by express bus or train from Nagano Station – with both services provided by Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden). No advanced booking is necessary. Tickets for the train can be purchased at the Nagaden ticket window at the station and for guests wanting to use the express bus, simply purchase the ticket from the driver once you board.
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 Nagano Station to the park or take a local bus from Yudanaka Station, you will get off at Snow Monkey Park bus stop. The stops are under a 10 minute walk from the park. Simply head-up hill and follow the signs to the park. Anyone of 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.
Toilets at the park
There are public toilets prior to the park and in the park itself. As you head toward the trail which leads to the park, you will pass a parking lot on your right with a public toilet. This is the last public toilet before the park – approximately 30 minutes walk.
Dining options before or after heading to the park
When walking to the park from the bus stop, you will first pass Hotaru-tei on your right. This 160 year old converted mansion is open for lunch and prides itself on serving fantastic Japanese cuisine including tempura, wagyu beef, and hot-pot.
For a more casual dining experience Enza Cafe is the closest restaurant to Snow Monkey Park and serves both Japanese and Western dishes, coffee and other drinks including craft beers and more! Enza is a great place to stop and rest before heading out or traveling.
Enza’s menu includes delicious chicken ramen, 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 rubbish bins 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.
Time to head to the monkeys!
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. 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 studs that attach to the sole of your shoes/boots – JPY1350) at the time of writing. It is strongly recommended to you consider using them in winter.
Follow the forest trail to the park
The trail to Snow Monkey Park is 1.6 km / 1 mile in both directions. When the weather is fine, this is an easy walk and it takes about 25 minutes. However the trail is unsealed and is affected by weather. Generally, the condition is good for most of the year and it is easy to relax on foot, but 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 level until the end. The last part of the trail is a somewhat steep concrete stair or a very steep paved path above the park. The staircase has a handrail but be careful in winter and take your time.
Entering Jigokudani Monkey Park
The park itself is on top of the stairs. Once at the top, you purchase your entry ticket from staff at the window. For opening hours, prices and other information, please see our Snow Monkey Park Information Page. Once inside, it’s time to enjoy one of Nagano’s most curious sights – the hot spring-bathing monkeys of Jigokudani. We hope you love it!