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1-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEYS & SNOWMOBILING IN SHIGA KOGEN

1-DAY TOUR: SNOW MONKEYS & SNOWMOBILING IN SHIGA KOGEN

Period

Dec to Mar

Time

8:45 - 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (Single ride /Tandem with child) 26,000/43,000 JPY

Highlights:

  • Experience the thrill of a single or tandem ride snowmobile activity in Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen!
  • Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and indulge in Nagano’s renowned food culture
  • Visit the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and learn all about what makes them so unique

 

*Please note that this tour has a minimum age of 6 to participate. Children aged 6 to 12 are welcome to join but must ride tandem with an adult. 

 

**If you would like arrange this tour, or if you are a group seeking the comfort and convenience of a private tour, please contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com with your request and we’ll get back to you with a customized itinerary and quote.

 

Description

 

This enjoyable one-day tour combines a visit to the world famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with lunch and morning snowmobiling in Japan’s largest mountain resort, Shiga Kogen. Led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide and certified snowmobile instructor, this tour highlights the best of Nagano in winter and excitement of Japan’s biggest and best resort!

 

Bathing Baby Monkey in a Hot Spring

 

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 and Japan’s largest and highest ski resort, Shiga Kogen. Pickup is also available from Yudanaka Station at 09:45 followed by these pickup points in Shiga: Hasuike/Shiga Highland Mountain Station at 10:15 and Ichinose Diamond at 10:30 followed by Prince Hotel West at 10:35, Prince Hotel South at 10:40 and Prince Hotel East at 10:45.

 

shiga kogen yokote

 

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 and the fun of snowmobiling through the beautiful winter landscape. Your guide will accompany you to the venue where a certified instructor will take over and first explain how to ride the equipment safely and then the fun starts, as you can take control and ride around the circuit.

 

Snowmobile in Shigakogen5

 

Guests aged 6 to 12 years of age can ride but must do so tandem with an adult. Due to the use of the snowmobile equipment, infants aged 0 to 5 years of age cannot participate on this tour*.

 

Snowmobile in Shigakogen2

 

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!

 

snow monkeys in bath

 

Scheduled to return to JR Nagano Station (via Yudanka 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 Highland Mountain Station, Ichinose Diamond and the Prince Hotels will also be arranged as required (please refer to the itinerary below for estimated drop-off times).

 

*If you are travelling with an infant and would like to join one of our tours heading to Shiga Kogen after the Snow Monkeys, you might be interested in our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen tour.

 

**Traffic and road conditions will be affected by snow and ice in winter. We anticipate that the tour will conclude by 18:30 but weather and road conditions can be a factor. Please take this into consideration when booking onward travel from JR Nagano Station.

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 Highland Mountain Station at 10:15, Ichinose Diamond at 10:30, Prince Hotel West at 10:35, Prince Hotel South at 10:40 and Prince Hotel East at 10:45.
10:50 Arrive in Yakebitaiyama ski area and begin snowmobiling
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 Diamond 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
  • Snowmobiling activity in Shiga Kogen led by a certified instructor

 

Excluded:

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

 

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. 

 

Other Information:

  • 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 trail so please wear shoes/boots suitable for walking on snow and ice. Rental boots are available close to the monkey park, if required. Crampons (metal spikes that attach underneath your shoes/boots) can also be purchased, if required.
  • 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.
  • Infants (0-5) are unable to participate in snowmobiling and therefore cannot join this tour
  • Children (6-12) can participate in this tour but must ride tandem with an adult when snowmobiling.
  • Infants (aged under 6) cannot participate in this tour.
  • The snowmobiling is led by a certified instructor who will advise you how to use the equipment in a safe and responsible manner prior to the activity beginning. Please ensure that you follow the instructions provided and use the equipment in a safe and responsible manner.
  • The instructor has the right to refuse or stop participation by any guest who they consider to be unable to use the equipment safely (including intoxication), does not follow instructions or behaves in a manner which endangers themselves or other guests.
  • This tour is insured however as the guest, you are required to have your own travel insurance which covers snowmobiling. Please confirm that your insurance policy covers this activity prior to the tour.
  • The tour application deadline is 2 days 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?

 

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 let us know at the time of booking if you would like to arrange one of these meeting points.

 

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, Ichinose Diamond and Prince Hotel West, Prince Hotel South and Prince Hotel East. 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?

 

Due to the use of heavy equipment, infants (aged under 6 years of age) are not permitted to join this tour. It is however possible to join our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen tour operating on the same day. That 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 try snowmobiling and some of us would like to join the snow fun tour. Is this possible?

 

Yes! 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.

(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

RESERVATION