Snow Monkey Park Information
Nagano’s Jigokudani Monkey Park is home to a particularly curious troop of Japanese macaques who have achieve worldwide fame due to a unique, captivating behavior – they are the only troop of monkeys in the world known to enjoy bathing in natural hot springs!. On this page you will find the following information:
Established in 1964, the park was created as a conservation area in which a local troop of monkeys, at that time under threat from urban development, would be safe within what was already their natural territory, generations of monkeys have now been born and grown to maturity in close proximity to humans, making them very comfortable with our presence. There are no barriers keeping visitors and monkeys separated and due to the park’s long established policy forbidding guests to feed them, the monkeys are non-aggressive and go about their daily activities in a near-natural state.
The experience of observing the monkeys in such close proximity – as they literally run around you in total ease – and observing their natural behaviors of grooming each other, foraging for food, nursing their young, and wrestling each other for fun is truly one that will stay with you long after your visit.
OPENING HOURS & PRICES
The park is open every day of the year* however opening hours vary between winter and other times of the year due to changing weather conditions, hours of light, and seasonal behaviour of the monkeys.
April to October / Green Season: 8:30 to 17:00
November to March / Winter Season: 9:00 to 16:00
*The Snow Monkey Park is open 7-days a week and there are no fixed holidays in place. In the event of extreme weather, the park could close for the safety of guests and staff but such cases are very rare.
Entrance fees vary for adults, children, and infants:
Adults (18 years & over) = JPY800 per person
Children (aged 6 to 17) = JPY400 per person
Infants (aged 0 to 5) are free of charge
MONKEY PARK RULES & FAQS
When visiting the park there are several rules to adhere to:
— Do not feed the monkeys
— Do not touch the monkeys
— Do not eat or drink while in the park or on the trail
— Keep your distance from the monkeys (1 to 2 meters)
— Do not use selfie sticks or flash photography
Want to know all about the monkeys or have a specific question about the park, check-out our ‘SNOW MONKEY FAQs’ page.
ACCESS: WALKING TO THE PARK & WHAT TO WEAR
The monkey park is located in the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen. To access the park is via a 1.6KM (or 1 mile) path through the forest, approximately 25 to 30 minutes each way. Visitors must walk themselves in and out of the park along a mostly level and well-maintained trail. It is worth noting that the first 20 meters of the path inclines upwards before becoming level. At the end of the trail visitors must ascend a staircase or steep path into the park. While a wheelchair can be take along the path in fine weather, the final staircase and step path into the park are not negotiable in a wheelchair.
Visitors are encouraged to wear good footwear and clothing suitable to the season. While the walk is generally easy, it is subject to weather conditions including winter, in which time the path will become cover in snow and ice. Please ensure that you are well-prepared when visiting the park in winter. For further information regarding the walk in and out of the park, please refer to our ‘INFORMATION ABOUT THE WALK TO THE SNOW MONKEY PARK’ page.
SNOW MONKEY RESORTS INFO & GIFT SHOP
Need assistance while at the park> The Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop is located at the entrance of the trail leading to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Offering a range of services including winter rentals and English language information, luggage storage, along with monkey merchandise and souvenirs including official Snow Monkey Resorts products, the SMR Info & Gift Shop has you covered when visiting the park. Open from early October until late May, 9AM to 5PM, English-speaking staff can answer your questions on your way to and from the park including bus timetables and information about nearby attractions.
DINING OPTIONS AT THE PARK
Visitors the the park can enjoy a couple of great dining options starting with Enza Cafe. Located immediately before the trail entrance, Enza Cafe serves both Japanese and Western dishes, coffee and other drinks including craft beer and more – the ideal place to grab a snack or sit down for a meal or drink before or after heading into the park.
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 so if you’re after takeaway, do so when departing the park otherwise your tasty little snack is likely to become the property of one of the monkeys!
The cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating and a relaxed, open-plan design which encourages you to take your time at the park. For visitors headed there through spring to autumn, Enza’s large terrace is an ideal spot to enjoy a meal and drink – especially beautiful in autumn as the large ‘momoji’ above the terrace turns deep red.
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.
Hotarutei serves an indulgent menu of tempura, wagyu beef, hot pot and sushi in a tranquil atmosphere. Particularly beautiful as the snow falls in winter, we recommend Hotarutei to any visitor looking to enjoy a more traditional Japanese meal during their time at the monkey park. Please note that reservations are required at least 3 days prior to the date of your visit.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING THE PARK
Visitors the monkey park are spoiled for choice when it comes to nearby accommodation. Located in the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen and a short drive from the larger Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen, the park can be enjoyed while staying at one of the area’s many guesthouses, many of which have their own hot springs, or further afield in Shiga Kogen or Nagano City. Our ‘Where To Stay Around The Jigokudani Monkey Park’ page lists the best areas to stay, our recommendations and accommodation listings.
HOW TO GET TO THE MONKEY PARK
Nagano Station is the nearest shinkansen stop – on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – to the monkey park and therefore the most common starting point for visitors coming to see the monkeys. From Nagano, you can take either the Nagaden Express Bus which will drop you nearby the monkey park or alternatively, take the Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) train line to Yudanaka Station from where you’ll need to jump on a local bus for the short ride up to the park. Both the express bus and trains – including a limited express and local services – are operated by Nagaden and easily navigable from Nagano Station to the park.
For further information including directions to the park from popular staring points including the ski resorts of Nagano, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, along with which service is most suitable for you needs, see our ‘How To Get To The Jigokudani Monkey Park’ main page.
Of course, the simplest way to reach the Monkey Park is by partaking in a tour. This will spare you from having to worry about missing your train or standing at the wrong bus stop, and free you up to focus on enjoying the day. If you are interested in a tour, please see the below section for more information.
TOURS AND CHARTERS TO THE MONKEY PARK
As Nagano’s No.1 tour operator, we are proud to offer multiple tours that combine a visit to the Snow Monkey Park with other fun local activities. No matter the season, we can help you make the most of your time in Nagano. Whether with your family or friends, or on your own, we are sure to have something that suits your needs!
1 Day Tour
|1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano
|All Year Round
|09:35 – 17:35
Hakuba (winter only)
Our most popular offering is our “1-Day Tour: Snow Monkey Park, Zenkoji Temple and Sake in Nagano“. Guests on this delightful excursion will first be treated to Sake Tasting and a guided tour of the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, including lunch at a nearby restaurant.
With the first half of the tour complete, you will then depart for the Monkey Park on our private tour vehicle. Once you have arrived your guide will lead the way up to the place the Monkeys call home, before you once again board the bus and return to your starting destination.
1 Day Tour
|1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun In Shiga Kogen
|December to March
|08:45 – 17:30/18:00
Snow Monkey Park Area
For those guests coming in the Winter, we also offer the “1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen“, combining exciting snow activities such as sledding and riding snow scoots with a visit to the Monkey Park. Lunch is also included, making for the perfect day trip for anyone looking to experience what winter in Nagano is all about!
1 Day Tour
|[Spring Only] 1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano
|09:35 – 17:30/18:30
|Hotel Kokusai 21
Another unforgettable tour is our “1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano“. Including two of Japan’s most amazing natural spectacles, the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms and the hot-spring loving monkeys of Jigokudani, this offering is the easiest way to enjoy a relaxed spring day in Nagano.
|[START FROM NAGANO CITY] Private Snow Monkey Tour
|All Year Round
|09:00 to 17:15 ~ 18:30
|Any location in Nagano City
|¥122,000 ~ / group
For those who want a more customized experience, we also offer private tours of the Snow Monkey Park and nearby attractions such as Zenkoji Temple. For more information, please click the link above or send us an inquiry describing your ideal itinerary.
CHARTER A VEHICLE TO THE SNOW MONKEY PARK!
For those interested in private charter services, we would be pleased to provide a vehicle and propose an itinerary to suite your needs! Please see our charter page and send us your trip details so we can can start planning your journey together.