2-Day Snow Monkeys & Nagano Cultural Tour inc. Luxury Villa Stay
All Year Round
(Day 1) 09:35 - 16:30
(Day 2) ~11:00
Hakuba (winter only)
2-Day Snow Monkeys & Nagano Cultural Tour inc. Luxury Villa Stay
Running throughout the year, this engaging two-day tour combines a visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park with some of Nagano’s most historic cultural attractions including Zenko-ji – one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan – and guided ‘sake’-tasting in Nagano City on Day 1. Your dream stay awaits at Hotarutei, a luxury villa accommodation with a private hot spring attached. The following day, simply relax or explore as you wish, and have our private bus take you back to Nagano Station where your tour concludes.
- Visit Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple followed by a guided ‘sake’-tasting, lunch and early afternoon visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park on Day 1
- Experience 1 night of luxury Western-style accommodation at Hotarutei Villas in the Snow Monkey Park area, and be blown away by its acclaimed ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course fine dining) and the outdoor hot spring in the comfort of your own villa.
- Including transport, lunch, dinner, breakfast and led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide.
The tour begins at Nagano Station at 09:35, where your guide will greet you and once all guests have arrived, you’ll be on your way to nearby Zenko-ji Temple. As a registered National Treasure, the temple is the most important cultural site in Nagano and one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. You will be guided around the temple before your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct by yourself before leading you a guided ‘sake’-tasting. Home to a huge number of breweries, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage (non-alcoholic options are also available).
Lunch is at nearby Monzen Terrace Enya with the menu varying my season, from your choice of a warming beef, chicken, or vegetarian hot pot in the winter months, to mixed vegetarian sushi plates and Nagano-style chicken or seasonal grilled vegetables through spring, summer, and autumn.
It’s then time to head-out of Nagano City, as you are transported to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the 1.6km forest trail which leads to the park and into Jigokudani – rather dramatically translating to ‘Hell’s Valley’. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a one-of-a-kind experience.
Your guide will introduce these captivating creatures and provide you free time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them at close proximity. Following your visit to the park, your guide will accompany you to your accommodation and say their goodbyes, leaving you to enjoy the comfort and indulgence of the luxury villa.
Your dream stay awaits. Hotarutei Villas provide ample space to relax and enjoy the fresh air from the mountains. Within walking distance of Snow Monkey Park, the villas provide accommodation for up to 6 guests in the 2-bedroom villas, each with a luxurious terrace, furnished kitchenette, high quality Western-style bedding, spacious living room, bathrooms, washing machine, shower room, and a private hot spring bath. Hotarutei takes great pride in providing luxurious ‘kaiseki’ (traditional multi course) meals. Dinner is served in the restaurant adjacent to the villas in a historic farmhouse which originally served as the residence of wealthy farmers renovated with a modern touch. Guests are certain to enjoy both the food and the atmosphere Hotarutei provides.
The second day begins with breakfast, with your choice of Western or Japanese style, also featuring local, seasonal produce. Then, check-out of the villa by 10:00 and our private bus will transfer you back to Nagano Station at your convenience.
This tour operates to and from Nagano Station throughout the year with the option of joining from Hakuba only in winter, from December to March (see below for details):
1 / HOTEL KOKUSAI 21 @ 09:10 — All Year Round
Please wait at the entrance of the hotel lobby. This is a group tour with multiple pickup points to follow. Please ensure you are at the hotel entrance prior to the meeting time – as the guide will not have time to wait or have reception call you room – and look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. The tour cannot wait and will need to depart on-time.
2 / NAGANO STATION @ 09:35 — All Year Round
The meetup point is inside the station, in front of the Information Board directly across from the Shinkansen ticket gates. Be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and ensure you are there prior to the meetup time as the tour will need to depart by 09:40.
3 / PATIO DAIMON / ZENKO-JI AREA @ 09:55 — All Year Round
The meetup point is outside of the restaurant called ‘Monzen Terrace Enya’. Please stand on the wooden decking / outdoor seating area directly in front of the restaurant and be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please also ensure you are there prior to the meetup time as the tour will need to depart by 10:00.
The following two MEETUP POINTS IN HAKUBA ARE ONLY AVAILABE IN WINTER from December until March. Should you wish to join the tour from Hakuba after that date, please contact us prior to booking to enquire if we can accommodate your request. Please note, we are unable to return you to Hakuba following the end of the tour on Day 2:
1 / HAKUBA TOKYU HOTEL, WADANO @ 07:40 — Winter Only
Please wait at the entrance of the hotel lobby. This is a group tour with multiple pickup points to follow. Please ensure you are at the hotel entrance prior to the meeting time and look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. The tour cannot wait and will need to depart on-time.
2 / HAKUBA HAPPO BUS TERMINAL @ 07:55 — Winter Only
Please wait inside the bus terminal and stay warm. Several tours operate from the bus terminal be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and confirm that you’re joining the correct tour. Please ensure you are at the terminal before the meeting time. The tour cannot wait and will need to depart on-time.
- Transportation from Nagano to/from all listed destinations and activities
- Entry fees to the Snow Monkey Park
- Lunch (vegetarian and vegan options are available)
- Guided tour at Zenko-ji, ‘sake’-tasting and at the monkey park
- English-speaking guide to all listed destinations and activities
- Accommodation at Hotarutei Villas (inc. dinner and breakfast)
- Additional food, snacks & drinks
- Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple
- Shinkansen / ’Bullet Train’ tickets to & from Nagano
- This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking over the two days, including a 1.6 km / 1 mile unsealed trail leading to and from the Snow Monkey Park. It is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness.
- 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
- This tour uses different forms of transport. Tours can be conducted by public transport, microbus, larger coach or train depending on the season and size of the group.
- From mid-December until early-April the trail and park are likely to be affected by snow and ice. Please ensure that you are wearing suitable shoes/boots and warm clothing. If required, rental boots are available close to the monkey park and crampons (metal spikes that attach underneath your shoes/boots) can also be purchased. From mid-December until early-March please wear suitable clothing for temperatures potentially below 0°C (and as low as -10°C).
- During the winter it is common to see the monkeys enjoying the hot spring, but there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath including from spring to autumn.
- There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park.
- This tour includes lunch at Monzen Terrace Enya on Day 1. On rare occasions it may not be possible to use this restaurant in which case we would switch to another, comparable location. Please note that the restaurant may change their menu from time-to-time and the tour lunch may different to images shown on this page.
- This tour includes ‘sake’ tasting in Nagano City. The venue can change depending on the time of year. You must be a minimum of 20 years of age to consume alcohol on the tour.
- This tour includes a stay at Hotarutei, a luxury villa-style accommodation. It is possible to extend your stay. Please send us your preferred length of stay if this is what you’re looking for.
- Pricing of this tour varies depending on which date you choose to stay at Hotarutei Villas and the rate on that day including weekends, public holidays, and other peak times equate to higher accommodation rates.
- This tour is booked by request. Once you submit your booking request, we will reply within 24 hours but typically, much sooner.
|Meetup with your guide at Nagano Station. Once all guests have arrived your guide will have you on your way to your first destination, Zenko-ji Temple.
|Arrive at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by ‘sake’-tasting and lunch at Monzen Terrace Enya. After lunch, you’ll head-out of Nagano and make your way to the monkey park.
|Arrive nearby the monkey park and make your way along the forest trail (a 25 to 35 minute walk in both directions). Once at the park, enjoy watching the monkeys with your guide there to answer all your questions.
|Check-in at Hotarutei Villas, where you guide will say their goodbyes and the evening is yours to enjoy your stay including the private hot spring and acclaimed ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) dinner.
|Check-out by 10:00 and our private bus will transfer you back to Nagano Station at your convenience.
|Tour concludes at Nagano Station.
- 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: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:42 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only
Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:13 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka*
*Nagano Station is a small station and our morning meet-up point is directly opposite the shinkansen/bullet train tickets gates at 09:35. Therefore you can take the 07:52 – 09:30 train service however please ensure you come straight to the meeting point after your train arrives.
On the second day, the following Shinkansen services can be booked to return to Tokyo:
Departing Nagano Station - Arriving Tokyo Station
Nagano: 17:04 – Tokyo: 18:28 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only
Nagano: 17:35 – Tokyo: 19:34 – Hakutaka
Nagano: 17:56 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only
- I noticed that the price of this tour is different on certain days. Why is that?
- Pricing of this tour varies depending on which date you choose to stay at Hotarutei Villas and the rate on that day noting that weekends, public holidays, and other peak times equate to higher accommodation rates.
- I’d like to package this tour to stay for more than 1 night. Is that possible?
- Yes, you can choose to stay for more than one night. Please note, adding additional nights is likely to substantially increase the tour price and is dependent on the availability of rooms. If you are interested in this option, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
- I’d like to join this tour from Hakuba. How does that work?
- From December to March, this tour includes pickup at three points in Hakuba – as listed above. Should you wish to do so, simply select your preferred pickup point at time of booking. Please note, that this tour concludes at Nagano Station on Day 2 and we will not be able to return you to Hakuba.
- I have specific dietary requirements. Can these be catered for?
- If you can let us know your dietary requirements at the time of your booking, we will speak to the restaurants and hotel to confirm whether they can cater to your needs. Monzen Terrace Enya – the lunch restaurant on Day 1 – and Hotarutei Villas can typically cater to vegetarian diets. They should also be able to modify their menus for specific allergies and may be able to provide gluten-free options (however it may require the restaurant / hotel to prepare a different lunch to the typical tour meal.) We cannot guarantee that the restaurant can cater to gluten-free diets and allergies however if you can let us know in advance by entering that information in the booking form, we will then contact the restaurants and hotel to discuss.
- 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. The tour requires a significant amount of walking and ability to walk along the unsealed trail to the monkey park and access buildings with stairs and narrows spaces. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle. 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
All Year Round
(Day 1) 09:35 - 16:30
(Day 2) ~11:00
Hakuba (winter only)