Where To Stay Around The Jigokudani Monkey Park
The monkey park is located in the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen, putting multiple guesthouses within easy walking distance. There are some great options in the village while nearby, Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen also offer some fantastic choices along with more distant options of staying in Shiga Kogen or Nagano City. On this page you will find the following information:
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are the region’s No.1 tour and charter operator. Our group tours run throughout the year, including multiple tours including visits to the monkeys. We can also arrange private tours and charters to the park along with any destination in the region, and as a registered travel agent, we can package transport, accommodation and more together so you save and get the most out of your time at the park, Nagano and beyond – scroll to the bottom for details.
BEST AREAS TO STAY NEARBY THE MONKEY PARK
When visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park, you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation. In this section we will discuss accommodation options in each of the following areas:
The park is located in one of a grouping three hot spring villages/towns that combine to offer numerous accommodation options including high-end, mid-range and budget options hotels and guesthouses. Many have their own hot springs and offer traditional ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) meal service combining for a true Japanese experience nearby the monkeys. Alternatively, many visitors head to the park as a day-trip from nearby Nagano City while in the mountains above the park, Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest ski resort and part of the larger Joshinetsu Kogen National Park – a great all-year-round destination from where it’s also easy to visit the the park. Let’s begin with the nearest accommodation to the monkey park:
KANBAYASHI ONSEN AREA / can access the park on-foot
The monkey park is located at the top of the small hot spring village of Kanbayashi Onsen. Within the village, a handful of traditional guesthouses offer some excellent accommodation, each with their own hot springs and all within walking distance of the park. Busy during the day thanks to the monkeys, the village is quiet at night making the option of eating at your guesthouse an attractive option. Both Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen can be reached in under 5-minutes drive, allowing guests to enjoy an evening meal and drink in those towns which have more going on at night. Only 20 to 25-minutes drive to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, Kanbayashi Onsen is a good option for visitors wanting to enjoy a traditional hotel or guesthouse and some of the region’s best hot springs. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Kanbayashi Onsen Area’ hotel page. If staying there appeals to you, we recommend choosing:
HOTEL SENJUKAKU, KANBAYASHI
Hotel Senjukaku is one of the best hotel’s in the region within easy walk of the Jigokudani Monkey Park. A favourite hotel with members of the Japanese Royal Family, this elegant hotel is known for its exceptional service, traditional comforts, indulgent ‘onsen’ (hot springs) and outstanding ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) meal service. Guests can choose between Japanese rooms with on-floor ‘futon’ bedding or mixed rooms featuring traditional Japanese design and Western-style bedding. Several rooms also include their own hot spring bath with all guests having access to the hotel’s large indoor, outdoor and private ‘onsen’.
SHIBU ONSEN AREA / <5-minutes drive from the park or 25-minute walk
Shibu Onsen is a historic hot spring town blessed with numerous water sources feeding the many hotels and guesthouses concentrated within a small area. Most guesthouses have their own hot springs with town also boasting nine ‘public’ onsen that can be used free of charge by anyone staying overnight in Shibu. A quaint town with some good dining options and a couple of bars, Shibu Onsen has retained more of its hisotric character and charm then Yudanaka Onsen and has a lot more going on than Kanbayashi Onsen. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shibu Onsen Area’ hotel page.
YUDANAKA ONSEN AREA / 5-minutes drive from the park or 45-minute walk
Spanning-out from Yudanaka Station – the nearest train station to the monkey park – Yudanaka Onsen offers a variety of accommodation ranging from high-end to budget. Local bus services run to the park along with Shiga Kogen Ski Resort from the station. Many hotels and guesthouses have their own ‘onsen’ (natural hot springs) and serve traditional ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) dinners allowing guests to completely unwind at the end of each day. Yudanaka doesn’t have the charm of Shibu and the town showing its age but if that doesn’t bother you, its a good option for visitors prioritising ease of access via the train station and lots of accommodation options. or accommodation listings, see our ‘Yudanaka Onsen Area’ hotel page. Here are some options:
HOTEL HOUSEI, YUDANAKA
Best known for its large and indulgent hot springs, Hotel Housei offers guests total relaxation in their indoor and outdoor baths. Japanese-style rooms include ‘tatami’ matting, on-floor ‘futon’ bedding, and traditional features including low tables and amenities such as ‘yukata’ (light kimono).
Located only a short walk from Yudanaka Station, Hotel Tsubakino is a modern ‘ryokan’ that offers both Japanese and Western-style rooms, each with its own private bathroom including shower. All guests also have access to Tsubakino’s natural ‘onsen’, including rooftop and private baths. Boasting some of the best views of any guesthouse in the area, unwinding in the onsen is the perfect way to relax at the end of a day on the mountain.
Boasting the largest ‘onsen’ in Yudanaka, Hotel Yudanaka is well-suited to guests looking for reasonably priced accommodation nearby the station. All rooms include on-floor ‘futon’-bedding, ‘tatami’-matting along with the option of dinner and breakfast meal service and guests have access to the hotel’s hot springs – including five different baths – with some rooms also including a private bath and shower.
Located at the top-end of Yudanaka Onsen, Maruka Ryokan offers Japanese-style accommodation within easy reach of the Jigokudani Monkey Park and ski resorts of Shiga Kogen and Kita-Shiga Kogen. As an older guesthouse, Maruka has lots of charm which appeals to guests looking for an authentic yet simple ‘ryokan’ experience while in Nagano.
Located under 5-minutes drive from Yudanaka Station, Masuya Yudanaka is a traditional guesthouse offering spacious and comfortable rooms, relaxing hot springs and acclaimed meal service. Masuya prides itself on creating a traditional atmosphere and excellent service in order that their guests can relax and unwind.
Ryokan Biyunoyado is known for its spacious and indulgent ‘onsen’ including indoor, outdoor, rooftop and private baths. With a range of baths to choose from including rooftop and private onsen, Biyunoyado is a great option for visitors wanting to enjoy the relaxation of a traditional hot spring guesthouse with comfort of Western amenities.
With only nine rooms in the guesthouse, Ryokan Hakura has a welcoming and intimate atmosphere with facilities well-suited to disabled guests. The guesthouse offers both Japanese and mixed Western-Japanese style rooms with Western-bedding and private toilet and shower.
Located within easy walking distance of Shibu Onsen, Yamazakiya is a homely ‘ryokan’ known for its warm welcome and particularly friendly owners. The small two-storey guesthouse has only eight Japanese-style rooms, each with its own private toilet and bath. While the guesthouse and meals may not be luxurious, the owners pride themselves on creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere – a good option for guests looking for cheaper accommodation close to historic Shibu Onsen.
YUDANAKA SEIFUSO RYOKAN
Yudanaka Seifuso Ryokan is a popular, family-run guesthouse offering all the comforts of a traditional Japanese inn. Boasting three ‘onsen’, one of which can be booked for private use, Seifuso is known for its comfort and traditional service including Japanese-style rooms and ‘kaiseki’ dining.
Yudanaka Yumoto is a traditional Japanese ‘ryokan’ located approximately 10-minutes walk from Yudanaka Station. Dating back to Japan’s Edo Period, Yumoto is Yudanaka’s oldest guesthouse – known for its welcoming atmosphere, homely comforts and relaxing hot springs.
SHIGA KOGEN AREA / 20 to 60-minute drive from the park (or depending on exact destination and season)
Sitting within Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Shiga Kogen is the largest and highest ski resort in Japan, boasting Nagano’s longest season – typically running from late-November until well into April or even as late as May. Shiga is also the nearest ski resort to the monkey park, making it a good option for visitors wanting to combine their visit to the monkeys with some of Nagano’s best skiing and snowboarding. The vast resort roughly corresponds with Shiga Kogen Highlands. As a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this is an important and beautiful alpine landscape that offers as many reasons to visit from spring to autumn as it does in winter. Accommodation is dotted through the resort over a wide area, making it somewhat confusing for first-time visitors to choose where to stay. Our ‘Where To Stay In & Around Shiga Kogen?’ page breaks the resort down into smaller accommodation areas and who they suit best. When heading into Shiga Kogen from the park, you will first come to the Sun Valley, Maruike and Hasuike areas – a 20 to 25-minute drive in winter or only 15-minute drive in green season, while the more distant areas of the resort including Okushiga, Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama can take as long as 50 to 60-minutes to reach in winter but only 30-minutes in green season. No matter what time of year that you’re headed there, we recommend:
HOTEL GRAND PHENIX, OKUSHIGA
Hotel Grand Phenix Okushiga is the premier hotel in Shiga Kogen, combining European-style accommodation and comfort with traditional Japanese service, outstanding facilities, and ski in/out convenience. Guests will be stuck by the hotel’s European character with many of the materials and design imported from the continent and imbuing the Grand Phenix with cozy atmosphere with old-world trimmings. The hotel’s spacious lounge with open fireplace is a notable and much-loved feature of the Grand Phenix, an ideal space to look-out upon the surrounding scenery and directly onto the Okushiga ski fields in winter. Offering multiple types of rooms, fine dining, a spacious lounge with open fireplace, relaxing men’s and women’s communal baths, sauna and heated indoor swimming pool, Grand Phenix affords guest the highest quality stay available in Shiga Kogen Ski Resort.
NAGANO CITY AREA / 50-minutes drive from the park
Many if not most visitors headed to the park using public transport will do so via Nagano Station – only 45 to 50-minutes away by express bus and 50 to 60-minutes away using train followed by local bus. Nagano City boasts lots of accommodation options, most of which are centred around the station. Other train lines, tours, local buses and taxis all operate from the station making the area around it, the most convenient place to stay when exploring the region. The area immediately around the station has plenty of large hotels catering to international visitors. Prices for accommodation are typically good with many hotels offering Western-style rooms and amenities, in-house restaurants and English-speaking staff. Around 15 to 20-minutes walk from the station, the area around Zenko-ji Temple has smaller guesthouses including many ‘shukubo’ (temple lodgings) in the surrounding streets. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Nagano City Area’ hotel page. When staying in Nagano City, we recommend:
HOTEL KOKUSAI 21
Located between Nagano Station and Zenko-ji Temple, Hotel Kokusai 21 is the city’s most established international hotel. Known for its blend of modern amenities and attentive Japanese service, Kokusai 21 offers guests spacious Western-style rooms with private bathrooms, multiple in-house restaurants including daily breakfast service and English-speaking 24-hour reception. Within easy walking distance of the station and the city’s most popular attractions and dining areas, Kokusai 21 offers unmatched comfort, convenience and professional service in the heart of Nagano.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND THE MONKEY PARK
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’ page lists some of the best things on offer throughout the year. We hope that we can entice you to visit!
SNOW MONKEY PARK GENERAL INFORMATION
Open every day of the year, the Jigokudani Monkey Park is one of Nagano’s most popular destinations. Our ‘Snow Monkey Park Information’ page has everything you need to know including opening times, prices, the park rules, FAQs, how to get there and more. We hope you enjoy your visit with our favourite furry friends.
EXPLORE YAMANOUCHI – HOME OF THE SNOW MONKEYS
The monkey park sits within the wider region of Yamanouchi – a rural enclave boasting multiple hot spring towns, ski resorts, farmlands and expansive Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. A visit to the park can be enjoyed as a day-trip or for visitors wanting to explore a little deeper, the hot spring towns of Yamanouchi offer lots of reasons to go a little slower and indulge in the comfort of a traditional guesthouse, hot springs, and great local food. Our ‘Explore Yamanouchi – Home of the Snow Monkeys’ page has everything you need to entice you to visit and stay.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are a registered travel agent and the region’s No.1 rated tour and charter operator. We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region including any destination or activity listed above starting, of course, with the monkeys! We offer a range of group tours with the option of booking a private tour to the monkeys. As a registered travel agent, we can package your trip to Nagano and Central Japan including group and private tours, ski packages, accommodation, private charters, restaurants, ticketing and more!
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
For guests wanting to access any of Nagano’s best ski resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination. We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide – whichever works best for you!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator.
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