NAGANO JAPAN
SNOW MONKEY RESORTS

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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 - 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

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

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 nearby restaurant – Hotaru-tei – and indulge in Nagano’s renowned food culture including a warming winter ‘nabe’ (hotpot)
  • 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!

snow monkeys in bath snow

The tour starts at JR Nagano Station at 08:45, from where you’ll quickly board the tour bus and be on your way toward the mountains of Shiga Kogen – Japan and Asia’s largest ski resort!* Pickup is also available from Yudanaka Station at 09:45 followed by these pickup points in Shiga: Hasuike/Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki at 10:15 and Ichinose Diamond at 10:30.

Shiga-kogen Highlands snowboarding

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 fabled powder snow. Your will be transported to the central area of Ichinose for a afternoon of snow fun, with an activity area sectioned-off for you to enjoy using snowscoots, snowdrives, and good old-fashioned sleds and tubes.

snow fun 2

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.

shiga kogen

From there you head to lunch at a nearby restaurant, Hotaru-tei. Housed in a 160 traditional mansion, this popular local restaurant is the ideal location to enjoy a warming winter hotpot – with your choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian available – along with a delicious vegetarian sushi starter followed by dessert, coffee, and tea.

 

 

In the cold of winter your guide will treat to you a set lunch menu, designed to fill and warm you before heading into the monkey park.

 

 

Your guide will then lead you along the forest trail in the monkey park, where you’ll be introduced to these truly curious creatures. 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!

 

Scheduled to return to JR Nagano Station between 17:00 and 17:30 (depending on weather and road conditions), this tour is a true snow-filled adventure that will leave a lasting impression. Drop-off at Yudanaka Station, Hasuike/Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki and Ichinose Diamond will also be arranged as required (please refer to the itinerary below for estimated drop-off times).

 

*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 JR Nagano Station. The meeting point is in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen tickets gates. Pickup is also available at Yudanaka Station at 09:45, Hasuike/Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki at 10:15 and Ichinose Diamond at 10:30.
10:30 Having arrived at Ichinose and begin snow fun activities.
12:40 Depart Shiga Kogen and head toward the Snow Monkey Park.
13:10 Arrive near the Snow Monkey Park and first have lunch at a local restaurant.
14:00 Depart the restaurant and walk into the park along the forest trail (1.6km in both directions).
14:40 Arrive at the Snow Monkey Park and enjoy observing the monkeys in their winter habitat.
15:40 Depart the park and walk back out along the trail.
16:20 Board the tour bus and begin the journey back to Nagano (via Yudanka Station). A separate vehicle will return guests to Hasuike/Shiga Highland Mountain Station at 16:50, Ichinose at 17:10 and the Prince Hotels between 17:15-17:30.
17:30 The tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

NOTES

Included:

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

 

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.

 

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 JR Nagano Station by 17:30 winter weather and roads conditions mean that we cannot guarantee it. To be safe, we recommend booking the 18:22 service.

 

I am staying in Yudanaka/Shibu/Kanbayashi, can I join the tour?

Yes. For guests staying in Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen or Kanbayashi Onsen, it is possible to join the tour in those areas rather than traveling to JR Nagano Station. Guests staying in Yudanaka and Shibu can meet the tour at Yudanaka Station while guests staying in Kanbayashi Onsen can meet the tour at Enza Cafe in Kanbayashi. This will change the tour start time. Please select the suitable pickup point on the booking menu or include your request in the Special Requirements field.

 

I am staying in Shiga Kogen, can I join the tour?

Yes. For guests staying in Shiga Kogen, it possible to join the tour at the resort at the following at either Hasuike/Shiga Highland Mountain Station or Ichinose Diamond. This will change the tour start time. Please select the suitable pickup point on the booking menu. At the end of the tour, a separate bus will return guests to their preferred drop-off point in Shiga Kogen.

 

Can I join the tour at one point and be dropped at another?

Yes. A common request is to start the tour at JR Nagano Station and finish at another point. Likewise, some guests wish to join the tour from Yudanaka Station or one of the Shiga Kogen pickup points and then finish at JR Nagano Station. This request can certainly be accommodated. To do so, simply choose your preferred pickup and drop-off points at time of booking. Should you have luggage, please include details of that in the Special Requirements field.

 

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.

 

We are travelling as a group. Some of us would like to join the Snow Fun tour while others would like to try snowmobiling. Is that possible?

Yes! The tours operate on the same day therefore members of the same group can choose to participate in different tours. You will be picked-up by the same guide and tour bus at JR Nagano Station, visit the monkeys and have lunch together. While at Shiga Kogen you will head to different areas of the resort for your chosen activities but after you’re done, you’ll board the same tour bus for the journey back to Nagano City, where you’ll be dropped-off as a group. You can make a booking through the tour pages. If you would like to let us know that you are traveling as a group, please feel free to include that information in the Special Requirements field.