How to Get to Yudanaka & Shibu Onsen
Most visitors traveling to Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen will do so via Nagano Station. As such, most of the directions provided below instruct how to get to Nagano and from there, follow the directions to Obuse included in the ‘From Nagano’ section.
For visitors heading to Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen from nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park and Shiga Kogen, it is also likely that you will have reached those destinations via Nagano. However, as you will be approaching Yudanaka and Shibu from a different direction, let’s begin with those points of origin before discussing how to get to there from Nagano and all other locations.
To begin it is worth explaining the lay-out of the towns. Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen are in fact separate hot spring towns located within walking distance of each other. Visitors coming from Nagano by train will arrive at Yudanaka Station, in the centre of Yudanaka Onsen, from where you can walk to your accommodation – also noting that many guesthouses offer free pickup from the station.
Shibu Onsen is located half-way between Yudanaka and the Jigokudani Monkey Park. From Yudanaka Station, you can reach the middle of Shibu Onsen on-foot in around 20 minutes or only 5 minutes using either of the local services which depart from the station, headed to the monkey park. Most conveniently for visitors staying in Shibu, many guesthouses offer free pickup from the station. Yudanaka Station is also the nearest train station to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort – Japan’s largest and highest ski resort – and the smaller resorts making-up Kita-Shiga Kogen.
Visitors combining their visit to Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen with the monkey park or other destinations including Obuse or Suzaka, might want to consider purchasing a 2-Day Snow Monkey Pass.
From the Jigokudani Monkey Park
To reach Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen from the Jigokudani Monkey Park is straight-forward. Take the Nagaden local bus toward Yudanaka Station and either disembark at Shibu Onsen or continue onto Yudanaka Station. The journey to Shibu Onsen will take around 7 to 10 minutes and cost JPY190 while heading to Yudanaka Station takes 15 minutes and costs JPY310. Alternatively, you can walk from the park – around 25 minutes to Shibu and 45 minutes to Yudanaka.
From Shiga Kogen
Take the local bus – Shiga Kogen Line – from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Station – to Yudanaka Station and then follow the directions above.
From Nagano Station
Yudanaka Station is the terminus of the Nagano Dentetsu Line running from Nagano Station. Limited express services from Nagano to Yudanaka take approximately 45 minutes / JPY1290 while local services take 70 to 80 minutes – depending on which train you use – and cost JPY1190. Given the minimal price difference but substantial saving in time, we recommend using limited express services.
To access the Nagaden train platforms at Nagano Station, simply exit the station via the Zenko-ji Exit and proceed down the escalator immediately to your right. Once at the bottom, head to your left and you will soon see the Nagaden ticket window, machines and platforms. Nagaden is a single-track line, making it easy to know which train to board.
For full details, please refer to our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line’ page.
Located around the mid-point on the Nagano Dentetsu Line, getting from Obuse to Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen is easy. Simply take the limited express from Obuse Station bound for Yudanaka – 20 min / JPY710.
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line either Tokyo Station or Ueno Station to Nagano. The journey takes between 90 to 110 minutes (depending on which train you take) and costs between JPY8000-9000 one-way.
The Kagayaki and Hakutaka services starting from Tokyo Station are the fastest while the Asama service, which originates at Ueno Station, is slower, stopping at more stations en route to Nagano. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
*Please note, the Nagano Dentetsu Railway running to Yudanaka is a private line and is not covered by any JR pass.
From Narita Airport
Nagano can be reached in a two-stage journey from the airport via Tokyo Station. Two rapid train services connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo:
1 / the Narita Express (NEX) runs from Narita to Tokyo Station. It takes 55 minutes to reach Tokyo Station (depending on the service) and costs JPY3070 with trains departing every 30 to 60 minutes. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above.
2 / the Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Ueno Station. It takes between 40 to 55 minutes to reach Ueno Station and costs JPY2520 with trains departing every 30 to 40 minutes. Once at Ueno Station, follow the directions above.
Both Tokyo and Ueno are stops on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line connecting the capital to Nagano. Once in Nagano, follow the directions above.
From Haneda Airport
Nagano can be reached in a two-stage journey from the airport via Tokyo Station. Two train services connect Haneda Airport to central Tokyo:
1 / the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 30 minutes. From the airport take the monorail to Hamamatsucho Station (20 min/JPY170) and then switch to the JR Yamanote Line or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Tokyo Station (5 min/JPY160) – a total journey of around 30-minutes / JPY660 one-way. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above to Nagano.
2 / the Keikyu Railway connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Shinagawa Station. Take the Keikyu Airport bound to Shinagawa Station (approx.11 min/JPY300) and transfer to the Yamanote Line bound for Osaki to reach Tokyo Station- 13 min / JPY170 or a total journey of around 30 min / JPY470. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above to Nagano.
As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the journey from Kanazawa Station to Nagano Station is easy. There are four services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – the Kagayaki, Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi – however only the Kagayaki and Hakuata services connect Kanazawa and Nagano. Using the Kagayaki, the journey from Kanazawa to Nagano takes 65 minutes / JPY8920 or 85 to 90 minutes / JPY8590 using the Hakutaka. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
Both Nagano Station and Karuizawa Station are stops on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, meaning that getting from one to the other is quick and easy – taking only 30 min / JPY3210. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
The Limited Express Shinano operates approximately once an hour and makes the journey between Nagano and Nagoya in approximately 3 hours and costs JPY6930. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
For further details including daily timetable, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page. The Japan JR Pass covers this service. See below for details.
*Please note, stations marked in bold are stops on all services. Those not marked in bold are only serviced by certain services throughout the day.
**Nakatsugawa and Kiso-Stations are convenient stops for visitors wanting to move to and from the Nakasendo Trail – allowing travelers to also easily visit Obuse using the Shinano Line to reach Nagano Station.
From the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
From Ogizawa Station – on the Nagano-side of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route – take the Alpico Bus to Nagano Station – approximately 100 minutes journey time. From Tateyama Staiton on the Toyama-side, take the Toyama Chiho Railway to Toyama and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen at Toyama Station, bound for Nagano. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
From Matsumoto Station, take the Shinano Line to Nagano Station. There are many services every day including the Limited Express Shinano – taking around 50 minutes. For the daily train schedule, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
There is no direct public transport from Takayama to Nagano, presenting travelers with different options. For those traveling by train, the easiest option is to take the Limited Express Hida from Takayama Station north to Toyama Station – approximately 50 minutes – and follow the directions above. The total journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours depending on which services you use. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
Noting that Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen can also be reached from Kamikochi via Matsumoto, please refer to the destination pages for instructions how to get to both Takayama and Matsumoto.
From Kyoto & Osaka
For visitors coming from Kyoto or Osaka, you have three options to reach Nagano: 1. also take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen to reach Nagano Station; 2. take the Limited Express Thunderbird to Kanazawa and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen heading south to Nagano and Tokyo; or 3. take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya Station and transfer to the Limited Express Shinano bound for Nagano. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
All routes take 4+ hours with options 2 and 3 being notably cheaper than option 1.
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Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many ski resorts and other fantastic destinations and activities.
For guests wanting to access the 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 including from/to Nagano Station and any resort in the region. 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 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.
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. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
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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 – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!