1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun In Shiga Kogen
December to March
08:45 - 17:30/18:00
Snow Monkey Park Area
1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun In Shiga Kogen
This exciting one-day tour combines a visit to the famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani with a 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!
- 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 at the ski resort
- Visit the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and learn all about what makes them so unique
- With multiple pick-up points in Nagano City, Yudanaka, Shibu and Kanbayashi Onsen – nearby the monkey park!
Want to joint this tour from Tokyo? It’s easy to do! Scroll to the bottom for our FAQs including train services that can you use to join the tour!
This tour has multiple meetup points in Nagano City along with Yudanaka, Shibu and Kanbayashi Onsen. Your guide will have guests board the bus quickly and on its way high into the mountains. 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!
You 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.
While there, you’ll have time to have lunch at a nearby restaurant, looking onto the ski field. Your guide will provide you with a lunch coupon which can be used to select your lunch at the restaurant with options including katsu curry, katsudon, hamburger steak, pizza, sansai soba, and different types of udon. Plenty of choice to warm yourself before heading out of the mountains and toward your next stop, Kanbayashi Onsen – home of the Jigokudani Monkey Park.
Arriving at Kanbayashi around 13:20 your guide will 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!
You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy with the monkeys before heading-out of the park and boarding the bus around 16:00 with the tour concluding back at Nagano Station around 17:30 with drop-off at Yudanaka Station (if required) along the way and Hotel Kokusai 21 (please note, due to weather and road conditions in winter, tour end times cannot be guaranteed).
This tour operates from multiple pick-up points with Nagano Station being the main / default meetup point. This is a group tour therefore please ensure you are at your selected meetup point prior to the meetup time to avoid any chance of missing the tour bus. The tour will need to depart on-time:
1 / HOTEL KOKUSAI 21 @ 08:20
The meetup point is at the entrance of Hotel Kokusai 21. Please note that this is group tour and there are other pick-up points therefore the tour will need to depart on-time. Please be at the entrance prior to the meetup time and look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. The tour will need to depart on-time.
2 / NAGANO STATION @ 08:45 — MAIN MEET-UP POINT
The meetup point is inside Nagano Station, in front of the Information Board directly across from the Shinkansen ticket gates. Please be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and please be waiting before the meetup time as the tour will depart on-time.
3 / YUDANAKA STATION @ 09:30
Please wait on or near the stairs of Yudanaka Station on the side with ticket gates and office. There is no other access to the platform and the station is very small, so it should be clear where to wait. Be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and please be waiting before the meetup time as the tour will depart on-time.
4 / SHIBU ONSEN VISITOR CENTRE @ 09:35
The meetup point is in front of the Shibu Onsen Visitor Centre. Please be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and please be waiting before the meetup time as the tour will depart by on-time.
5 / HOTEL SENJUKAKU, KANBAYASHI @ 09:40
The meetup point is at the entrance of Hotel Senjukaku. Please note that this is group tour and will need to depart on-time. Please be waiting in the lobby from 09:30 onward for departure at 09:40Please be at the entrance prior to the meetup time and look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. The tour will need to depart on-time.
*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.
|08:45||The tour begins at Nagano Station where your guide will be waiting for you in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen tickets gates. Please note, for guests staying at Hotel Kokusai 21, you can also be picked-up there at 08:20. From Nagano the tour heads toward Shiga Kogen with additional pickup possible at Yudanaka Station at 09:30, Shibu Onsen at 09:35 and Kanbayashi Onsen at 09:40.|
|10:30||Having arrived at Shiga Prince Hotel West and begin snow fun activities. While at Shiga Prince, you will also have time to enjoy lunch at its restaurant (included in the tour).|
|12:45||Board the bus and depart Shiga Kogen for the monkey park.|
|13:20||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.|
|14:10||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.|
|15:10||Your guide will lead the tour out of the park and back-out along the trail.|
|16:00||Board the bus and begin the journey back to Nagano.|
|17:30-18:00*||The tour concludes at Nagano Station between 17:30 and 18:00 with a drop-offs in in Kanbayashi, Shibu, Yudanaka and Kokusai along the the way (if required).|
*Please note, due to weather and road conditions in winter, we cannot guarantee our exact end time but should be back at Nagano Station by 18:00 at the latest.
- Transportation from / to Nagano Station and all listed destinations
- Snow activity fees in Shiga Kogen
- Entrance fee to the Snow Monkey Parking
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available)
- English-speaking guide
- Shinkansen / ‘Bullet Train’ ticket to / from Nagano
- Rental boots (if required)
- Rental clothing including snow jackets & pants (if required)
- Skiing or snowboarding at Shiga Kogen
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- The transport used for this tour depends on the size of the tour group. For smaller tours groups, we will use the express train service from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station followed by a private vehicle to and from the ski resort. For large groups, we may arrange our own transport i.e. small tour bus, from / to Nagano Station and all listed destinations.
- 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.
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired travellers. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us to discuss prior to booking.
- This tour does not include skiing or snowboarding, nor is there the time to arrange your own skiing and snowboarding while at the resort.
- There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park or that the monkeys leave the park early. While this is unlikely to happen, it is possible and is outside of our control.
- 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.
- Infants (0-5) are free of charge. An infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs. We also cannot guarantee that a seat on the tour transport will be available for infants and they may be required to sit in the lap of an adult.
- 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.
- I’d like to join this tour from Tokyo. Which Shinkansen / 'Bullet Train' service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time? What time do services depart for Tokyo after the tour?
The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the Shinkansen timetable. You can book the following services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line when joining this tour at Nagano Station:
Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station
Tokyo: 06:16 – Nagano: 07:38 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:37 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:42 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)
Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station
Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka *RECOMMENDED*
Nagano: 19:03 – Tokyo: 20:23 – Kagayayaki (reserved seats only)
Nagano: 19:08 – Tokyo: 20:52 – Asama
Nagano: 19:38 – Tokyo: 21:16 – 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. A set of boots, pants and jacket costs JPY1000. 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.
- Can I start the tour at one point i.e. Nagano Station and finish at another i.e. Kanbayashi, Shibu or Yudanaka Onsen?
Yes. You can start and finish at different points making it a convenient way to incorporate a visit Shiga Kogen and the monkey park as you move from one point to another. We can also carry luggage however there is a limit of one piece of luggage per guest. Should you be traveling with multiple pieces of luggage or over-sized gear such as snowboards and skis, please contact us prior to booking to discuss whether these can be accommodated.
- Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. We can add accommodation in Nagano City or the Yamanouchi / Snow Monkey area. To do so, contact us at anytime to discuss options. This tour can also be booked as part of a 2-day tour including accommodation at one of Nagano’s best ‘onsen’ (hot spring) hotels. For full details, please refer to our 2-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun Winter Tour inc. Luxury Onsen Hotel page.
- 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.
- I have specific dietary requirements. Can these be catered for?
We cannot promise that all dietary needs can be catered to. The tour uses a restaurant in the ski resort for lunch. They can provide vegetarian options but are unlikely to be able to cater to vegan guests, guests requiring halal and may not be able to amend the menu for specific allergies. If that is a concern, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options
- Is this tour wheelchair accessible or suitable for mobility-impaired guests?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. Snow activities require guests to be able to move freely and the tour requires a significant amount of walking – suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness – including along a 1.6km/1-mile forest trail leading to and from the park. The trail is unsealed and in winter will be affected by snow and ice in winter, meaning that a wheelchair cannot move along it. There is also a relatively steep staircase at the end of the trail leading into the park. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle with the conditions. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options.
(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara
December to March
08:45 - 17:30/18:00
Snow Monkey Park Area