NAGANO JAPAN
SNOW MONKEY RESORTS
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1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen

1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen

Period

December to March

Time

07:45/09:00 - 17:30/18:30

Meeting Place

Hakuba / Nagano Station

Price

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

1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen

*Please note, unfortunately we are unable to offer this tour in winter 2021/22. We hope to offer it again in winter 2022/23.

This enjoyable one-day tour combines a morning of snowmobiling in Japan’s largest mountain resort, Shiga Kogen – including lunch – followed by an early afternoon visit of the nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park – home to Nagano’s famous hot spring-loving monkeys. 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 resort!

Highlights

  • Experience the thrill of snowmobiling* in the Yakebitai ski fields of Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen!
  • Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in Shiga Kogen
  • Visit the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and learn all about what makes them so unique

*Please note, the minimum age to participate in this tour is 6 years of age. See information below for further details.

Want to join 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!

Description

This tour has multiple meetup points in Hakuba, Nagano and Yudanaka starting from 07:45. 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 fabled powder snow and the fun of snowmobiling through the beautiful winter landscape.

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shiga-kogen-snowmobile-revised

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. From there you head to lunch at a nearby restaurant before jumping back on the tour bus and heading-out of Shiga to the monkey park.

jigokudani-monkey-january-2021

Arriving in Kanbayashi Onsen around 14:00, 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!

jigokudani-monkey
jigokudani-monkey-winter

Scheduled to return to Nagano Station between 17:00 and 17:30 and Hakuba by 18:30 (depending on weather and road conditions), this tour is a true snow-filled adventure that will leave a lasting impression.


TOUR MEETUP POINTS – *AVAILABLE FOR WINTER 2021/22 ONWARD*

In winter 2021/22, guests in Hakuba will have the option of joining this tour at two meetup points, along with our main meetup point of Nagano Station and additional meetup point in Yudanaka:

1  /  HAKUBA TOKYU HOTEL, WADANO @ 07:45

Please wait at the entrance of the hotel lobby and be look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please be waiting before the meetup time as the tour will depart by 07:50.

2  /  HAKUBA HAPPO BUS TERMINAL @ 07:55

Please wait inside the bus terminal and be sure look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please be waiting before the meetup time as the tour will depart by 08:00.

3 / NAGANO STATION @ 09:00

The meetup point is inside the 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 by 09:40.

4 / YUDANAKA STATION  @ 09:50

Please wait on or near the stairs of the 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 by 09:55.

*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

07:45 HAKUBA PICKUP: first pickup at Hakuba Tokyu Hotel before the second pickup at the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal at 07:55. From there the bus heads toward Nagano City and the main pickup point
09:00 NAGANO PICKUP: guests joining the tour at Nagano should wait in front of the Information Board, directly opposite the shinkansen tickets gates. From Nagano the tour heads toward Shiga Kogen with additional pickup possible at Yudanaka Station at 09:50.
11:00 Arrive at snowmobiling location, prepare and start activity
12:30 FInish and depart snowmobiling area and head to lunch at a nearby restaurant
13:30 Depart Shiga Kogen for the short drive down to the monkey park
14:00 Arrive nearby the park and walk along the 1.6km/1mile forest trail with your guide
14:40 Arrive in the park and enjoy watching the monkeys go about their lives in the midst of winter
15:40 Depart the park and walk back out along the trail
16:20 Board the tour bus and begin the journey back toward Nagano and Hakuba
17:30 The tour concludes at Nagano Station at 17:30 before the final drop-offs in Hakuba (at your selected drop-off point) around 18:30

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from/to Hakuba or 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
  • Accommodation

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

  • The minimum age for participation in this tour is 6 years of age. Guests aged 6 to 12 years of age can participate however must ride tandem with a responsible adult. Guests aged 13 and above can ride single or tandem.
  • 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 travels. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us to discuss prior to booking.
  • 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.
  • 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 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

Hakuba / Nagano Station

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

FAQs

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: 06:28 – 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.
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.
How does the Hakuba shuttle service work?
Due to the popularity of this tour, in winter 2021/22 we will be operating a shuttle service from and to Tokyu Hotel and Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal. This service is provided at no additional charge. If you would like to join the tour from Hakuba simply choose your preferred option from the ‘Select your pickup option’ menu. If you choose this option, our staff will meet you at the meeting point in Hakuba and have you board the shuttle service to Nagano Station. The tour itself operates from and to Nagano Station and on most occasions, the guide will join and leave the tour at that point.
Can I start in Hakuba and leave the tour in Nagano / start in Nagano and end in Hakuba?
Yes. We are happy to provide this service for you. Just select the relevant options and please explain your preference in the Special Requirements field of the booking page.
Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. We can add accommodation in Nagano City, Yamanouchi/Snow Monkey area, and Hakuba village area. To do so, contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com at anytime to discuss options.
I am staying in Shiga Kogen, can I join the tour?
Possibly. For guests staying in Shiga Kogen, it may possible to join the tour at the resort however it depends on the day and we most likely can’t drop you back at the resort (as the tour bus will need to return to Nagano and Hakuba). If you would like to request pickup in Shiga Kogen, please contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com prior to booking to discuss options.
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 traveling 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.
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 at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com 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. Snowmobiling requires 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 at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com 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
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara

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