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1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination

1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination

Period

Dec 5 - 13

Time

12:55 - 20:40

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 20,500 JPY
Child (6-12) 16,000 JPY
Infant (0-5) 5,000 JPY

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*For residents of Japan eligible for offers under the national ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, we can package this tour with accommodation and/or provide the same itinerary as a private tour or charter.

 

Highlights

 

  • Visit the world-famous hot spring-bathing Snow Monkeys of Jigoukudani and enjoy observing these curious creatures in their winter playground
  • Indulge in Nagano’s renowned food culture an early-dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya including its Winter Illumination Dinner Course
  • Explore Zenko-ji – Nagano’s 1400 year old temple – in the vivid glow of its magical winter Illumination Festival

 

Description

 

Combining a visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park and evening exploration of the Zenko-ji Illumination Festival, this enjoyable 1-day tour captures the magic of Nagano of in winter. Including a mutli-course dinner at one of Nagano City’s most popular restaurants – Monzen Terrace Enya – this is one tour rich in the festive spirit of winter!

 

Meeting up with your guide at Nagano Station, you will board the Snow Monkey Express Bus and being your journey toward the Jigokudani Monkey Park (please note, this tour uses public transport so please ensure you are on-time as the tour cannot wait for long).

 

jigokudani-monkey

 

Arriving nearby the park at 14:00, your guide will lead you to the trail entrance and then along the forest trail into the park.Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.

 

jigokudani-monkey-winter

 

In the deep snow of winter, the monkeys like nothing more than a long, warming soak in the hot spring. Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity.

 

jigokudani-monkey

 

Walking back out along the forest trail, you will then be transported to a nearby station and take the Snow Monkey express service back to Nagano City and Zenko-ji Temple.

 

monzen-terrace-enya-illumination

 

As the evening takes hold, your guide will walk you to the temple precinct, where you will first have an early-dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya.

 

monzen-terrace-enya-illumination

 

Enya celebrates the festival with its Winter Illumination Dinner course including appetizers, salad, beef stroganoff, grilled seafood and pizza. The delicious menu will be rounded-out with a welcome drink, dessert and a hot drink of your choice to conclude your meal.

 

zenkoji-temple-illumination

 

You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your meal and get warm before heading to the nearby temple, where you guide will introduce you to the near-1400 year history of Zenko-ji before allowing you time to explore for yourself and take in the beauty and atmosphere of the winter illumination.

 

zenkoji-temple-illumination

 

Meeting up with your guide around 20:15, you will then walk back to Nagano Station where the tour concludes between 20:30 to 20:40.

ITINERARY

12:55 Meetup at Nagano Station. The meetup point is in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen ticket gates.
14:00 Arrive at Kanbayashi Onsen and walk along the forest trail into the monkey park.
14:45 Arrive at the park and enjoy observing the monkeys in their winter habitat. Your guide will explain just what makes the monkeys so unique while also allowing lots of time to yourself.
15:45 Depart the park and walk back out along the trail.
16:20 Board the bus and head to nearby Yudanaka Station
16:45 Train departs Yudanaka and heads toward Nagano
17:30 Arrive in Nagano and walk toward the temple and dinner restaurant
17:45 Enjoy your multi-course dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya.
19:15 Head to the temple to enjoy the illumination
20:15 Meetup with your guide and walk back to station where the tour concludes at 20:30-20:40.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from/to Nagano Station and all listed activities/attractions
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Dinner (vegetarian options available, please let us know beforehand)
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Shinkansen/Bullet train tickets
  • Additional food, snacks and drinks
  • Accommodation

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail and suitable clothing for temperatures potentially below 0°C.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
  • The transport used for this tour depends on the size of the tour group. For smaller tours groups, we will use the Nagaden Snow Monkey Express Bus service from Nagano Station and return using the Nagaden limited express service on the Nagaden Railway. For large groups, we may arrange our own transport i.e. small tour bus, from/to Nagano Station and all listed destinations.
  • The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

FAQ

Which train service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time for the tour? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

 

The start and end of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station

 

Tokyo: 10:32 – Nagano: 12:07 – Hakutaka

Tokyo: 11:04 – Nagano: 12:48 – Asama

Tokyo: 11:24 – Nagano: 12:52 – Hakutaka*

 

*You can take the 11:24–11:52 train since Nagano Station isn’t big and tour meet-up point is immediately across from the shinkansen ticket gates. Please ensure however that you come straight to the meetup point as the guide/tour cannot wait for long.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station

 

Nagano: 20:34 – Tokyo: 22:12 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 21:15 – Tokyo: 23:00 – Asama*

Nagano: 21:46 – Tokyo: 23:24 – Hakutaka

 

*While it may be possible to be back in-time for the 20:34 service, we recommend booking the later 21:15 service to be safe. Alternatively, staying in Nagano City is a great option, allowing you to take your time and enjoy yourself.

 

 

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara

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