When Does It Start To Snow In The Jigokudani Monkey Park?

When Does It Start To Snow In The Jigokudani Monkey Park?

The monkeys of the Jigokudani Monkey Park are here all throughout the year. However, given that they are most commonly referred to as ‘snow monkeys’, many visitors understandably want to see them in the depths of winter and regularly ask – when does it start snowing in the park?

Snow at the Monkey Park

Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop

Tours and Charters to the Monkey Park



Snowfall will vary from year-to-year so it’s impossible to definitely state when the snow will come, at least very far in advance. However, as a rule, the year’s first snowfall at the park usually occurs in mid to late-November. The first snowfall can sometimes be substantial however daytime temperatures remain pleasantly warm through November, melting it quickly. This might occur a couple of times until around mid-December, from which time snowfall becomes more regular but again, not enough to stay on the ground for long.


Sometime in the Month of December, heavier snowfall is usually accompanied by lower temperatures. Snow will remain on the ground and from that point onward winter has begun and the landscape will remain white for several months. The monkey park and surrounding region are usually blessed with a white Christmas, making it a magical experience for many visitors who have never experienced one!

Snow should fall consistently through January and February. The middle of that period can bring extremely heavy snowfall with large amounts on the ground and in the park. Heading toward the end of February and into March, the snow should continue but gradually becomes more intermittent. By the end of March, regular snowfall is likely to have finished at the park but snow will remain on the ground, eventually melting to patches here and there in April.

Snow Monkeys on rock

The trail leading through the forest to the monkey park, and the park itself, will be affected by snow and ice through. While this makes the walk even more beautiful, it can also be treacherous, particularly for visitors who are not accustomed to walking in such conditions. Snow often accumulates by the side of the trail, concealing the edge, which can at times drop away sharply. Don’t let this stop you from visiting but please ensure that you wear good quality shoes or boots and take your time walking to and from the park. Always pay attention to your footsteps and trail conditions.



Open everyday through winter from 9AM to 5PM, the Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop provides are range of services to ensure you have an enjoyable and easy visit to the monkey park. One of the most popular destinations in Nagano, the Jigokudani Monkey Park is located at the end of a 1.6km / 1 mile forest trail, accessed in the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen. Standing right next to the trail entrance, the Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop is virtually impossible to miss!


English-speaking staff are on-hand to assist with your visit including general information about the monkey park, transport options from the park, and nearby restaurants including Enza Café and Hotaru-tei.


To access the park, you must first walk along a picturesque 1.6km / 1 mile forest trail. This path is well-maintained and mostly level with a staircase at the end leading into the park itself*. The walk typically takes 20 to 25 minutes however in winter, when the trail becomes affected by snow and ice, the walk is more likely to take 30 to 40 minutes. It can also be extremely cold with temperatures regularly below 0°C and possibly dropping below -10°C. During the winter months the path can become very slippery and it is easy to fall so please proceed with caution at all times. 


Dressing appropriately for these conditions including good quality shoes or boots is essential during winter. For visitors who don’t have appropriate winter clothing or footwear, the SMR Info & Gift Shop provides a range of rental services including snow boots (JPY800) and winter jackets (JPY500). Rental boots and jackets are subject to availability on the individual day and cannot be booked in advance. Cramp-ons (metal spikes that attach to the sole of your shoe or boot) are available for purchase (JPY1350) along with winter clothing including hats and gloves. For visitors carrying luggage that would be cumbersome to take along the trial and into the park, the Info & Gift Shop will happily look after it for you with their left baggage service (JPY500 per item).



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!

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.

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!

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.

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.



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.

Snow Monkey Park