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1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun In Shiga Kogen

1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun In Shiga Kogen

Period

Dec - Mar

Time

8:45 - 17:40

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 17,800 JPY
Child (6-12) 13,300 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

 

  • Discover Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest ski resort! – and have fun snow-scooting, snow-biking, and sledding in the beauty of the snow-covered landscape
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Visit the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and learn all about what makes them so unique

 

*If you would like to apply for this tour outside of the available dates, we can offer the Snow Monkey & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen tour on a private basis.

 

Description

 

This exciting one-day tour combines a visit to the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani with morning of fun in the deep powder snow of Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest ski resort! Including lunch and led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide, this tour follows a simple equation: snow monkeys + lots more snow = big fun in Shiga Kogen!

 

The tour starts at Nagano Station at 08:45, from where you’ll board the bus and be on your way toward the mountains of Shiga Kogen – Japan and Asia’s largest ski resort!

 

central-area-shiga-kogen

 

As Japan’s largest and highest ski resort, Shiga Kogen’s proximity to the monkey park make it the perfect destination to experience Nagano’s powder snow. Your will be transported to the ski fields of Maruike – one of Shiga Kogen’s many ski areas – for a morning of snow fun, with an activity area sectioned-off for you to enjoy using snowscoots, snowdrives, and good old-fashioned sleds and tubes.Suitable for the whole family, guests who get their confidence up have the option of heading-up the nearest ski run, accompanied by the guide, who will race to back to the bottom.

 

snow-fun-shiga

 

While there, you’ll have time to have lunch at a nearby restaurant and warm yourself before heading out of the mountain and toward your next stop, Kanbayashi Onsen – home of the Jigokudani Monkey Park.

 

jigokudani-monkey

 

Arriving at Kanbayashi around 14:00 your guide will lead you along the forest trail in the monkey park, where you’ll be introduced to these truly curious creatures.

 

jigokudani-monkey-winter

 

As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, the monkeys of Jigokudani have reached global fame and observing them go about their monkey business – foraging, wrestling, grooming and of course, soaking in the hot spring – is a must see when in Nagano!

 

jigokudani-monkey

 

You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy with the monkeys before heading-out of the park and boarding the bus around 16:45 with the tour concluding back at Nagano Station around 17:40.

 

*Please note, due to weather conditions and operational requirements, the tour itinerary can on occasion be reversed. This would mean visiting the monkeys in the morning followed by lunch and afternoon visit to Shiga Kogen. It is not common and if required, the overall content of the tour remains the same with the same start and end times.

ITINERARY

08:45 Meet-up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen tickets gates. Once all guests have arrived, you will board the bus with your guide and begin your journey toward Shiga Kogen
10:20 Having arrived at Maruike and begin snow fun activities. While at Maruike, you will also have time to enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant (included in the tour)
13:30 Board the bus and depart Shiga Kogen for the monkey park
14:00 Arrive at Kanbayashi Onsen, and walk up to the trail entrance and along the forest trail into the park - 1.6km / 1 mile in both directions
14:30-45 Arrive at the park (depending on your speed along the trail) and enjoy observing the monkeys in their winter habitat. Your guide will point-out just what makes the monkeys so unique while also allowing you plenty of time to enjoy for yourself
15:45 Your guide will lead the tour out of the park and back-out along the trail
16:45 Board the bus and begin the journey back to Nagano
17:40 The tour concludes at Nagano Station (please note that due to weather and road conditions in winter, the tour end time cannot be guaranteed)

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from/to JR Nagano Station and all listed destinations
  • Snow activity fees in Shiga Kogen
  • Entrance fee to the Snow Monkey Park
  • Lunch
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Shinkansen/bullet train ticket
  • Rental boots (if required)
  • Rental clothing including snow jackets & pants (if required)
  • Additional snacks, food & drinks

 

What to bring: 

  • The temperature in Shiga Kogen is cold and could be as low as -5°C to –15°C. Please be dressed in warm, waterproof clothing and boots for snow activities. If required, clothing including snow jackets, pants, gloves and snow boots can be rented at the Snow Monkey Park. Please note that there is limited availability for snow outfits, so if you have waterproof, warm clothes fit for snow activities, please bring these with you on the day of the tour. 
  • There will be a significant amount of walking required (1.6 km one way) to get to and from the Snow Monkey Park, along a forest the trail so please wear shoes/boots suitable for walking on snow and ice. Rental boots (JPY500) are available close to the monkey park, if required. Crampons (metal spikes that attach underneath your shoes/boots) can also be purchased, if required.

 

Other Information:

  • The tour itinerary can be reversed and we may visit the monkeys first followed by lunch and Shiga Kogen, depending on weather and road conditions and other factors on the day. We do so in an effort to provide guests the best possible experience on the day.
  • Guests are required to walk in and out of the monkey park along a 1.6km/1 mile trail. In winter, the trail and park will be affected by snow and ice. This walk should not be attempted by anyone who is mobility impaired, in a wheelchair or cannot confidently walk an extended distance over snow and ice. Snow fun activities also require guests to be of reasonable fitness and mobility to enjoy. If you have concerns about your or a member of your groups ability to handle the conditions, please contact us to discuss prior to booking.
  • 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/Shiga Kogen Express Bus service from/to Nagano Station and all listed destinations. For large groups, we may arrange our own transport i.e. small tour bus, from/to Nagano Station and all listed destinations.
  • While unlikely, should weather or road conditions make it impossible to access Shiga Kogen, we would switch the activity to a visit to Zenko-ji Temple. As we cannot confirm weather conditions until the day of the tour, we would not be able to notify guests of the change in advance.
  • If snow conditions are inadequate to conduct the tour, we will endeavour to notify guests in advance of the day and provide the option of switching to our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge. No tour meal is included. Please order foods directly to the restaurant.
  • This tour is insured however as the guest, you are required to have your own travel insurance which covers snow activities including riding chairlifts and using snowdrives, snowscoots, sleds, and tubes. Please confirm that your insurance policy covers this activity prior to the tour.
  • 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

What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

 

The start and finish 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: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka

Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:40 – Asama

Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)*

 

*You can still take 07:20 – 08:43 service 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: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka*

 

*In winter, we recommend that you book this service to return to Tokyo. While we expect to this tour to conclude at Nagano Station by 17:40 winter weather and roads conditions mean that we cannot guarantee it. To be safe, we recommend booking the 18:22 service.

 

Do you provide rental clothing such as jacket, pants and snowboots for use at the ski resort?

 

Yes. Ski jackets and pants are available for rent along with snowboots. The cost of each item is JPY500 per item i.e. a total of JPY1500 if you wish to rent a jacket, pants and boots. While we have adequate stock to cover most tours, during peak times in December and January, demand might be too high to guarantee availability. We cannot accept advance reservations nor can we guarantee sizes. We stock a range of adult and children’s sizes we can be tried on the day.

 

We are traveling with an infant. Can we join this tour?

 

Yes! This tour  is suitable for guests of all ages and especially fun for infants and children.

 

What happens if the snow isn’t good enough to conduct the tour?

 

This is unlikely. One of the reasons we use Shiga Kogen as the venue for snow fun activities, is that it’s higher elevation than other resorts usually guarantees that the snow is good enough to conduct a tour. Should the snow be insufficient to conduct the tour, we will do our best to notify you prior to the day and provide the option of switching onto our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour.

(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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