2-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun Winter Tour inc. Luxury Onsen Hotel
December to March
Day1: 09:35 - 17:00
Day 2: 09:30 - 14:40
2-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun Winter Tour inc. Luxury Onsen Hotel
Available from December to March, this family-friendly two-day tour highlights the best of Nagano in winter with a visit to Zenko-ji – one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples – and visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park on Day 1, followed by a morning of snow fun activities in Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen – and early afternoon return to Nagano on Day 2. Including accommodation at one of Nagano’s best hot spring hotels and all led by a locally-based guide.
- 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 traditional Japanese comfort and service with an afternoon and evening at the finest ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouse) in the Snow Monkey Park area including its acclaimed ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course fine dining) and unwind in the hotel’s refined ‘onsen’ (in/outdoor natural hot springs)
- 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 before enjoying lunch before returning to Nagano in the early afternoon on Day 2
- Including transport lunch on both days, dinner, breakfast and led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide
Want to join this tour from Tokyo? It’s easy to do! Scroll to the bottom for our FAQs including train services that you can use to join the tour!
Want to join this tour from Hakuba? In winter, we offer pick-up and drop-off at three points in Hakuba – see below for details.
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, as you are transported to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the 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 unique and memorable experience.
Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them at close proximity. Following your visit to the park, your guide will accompany to your accommodation and say their goodbyes, leaving you to enjoy the comfort and indulgence of a traditional ‘ryokan’ (guesthouse).
Hotel Senjukaku is one of Nagano’s best hot spring hotels – a place to relax, unwind, and indulge in traditional Japanese service. Checking-in around 16:00, the late afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy including the indoor and outdoor hot springs and ‘kaiseki’ (traditional multi-course) dinner. Please note, that this tour comes with a Japanese Standard Room including futon (on-floor) bedding and private bathroom but does not have a hot spring in the room. You can choose to upgrade your room – dependent on availability – including rooms with Western-style bedding and in-room ‘onsen’ however please note that it will increase the price of the tour substantially.
The second begins with breakfast at your hotel before you guide collects you at 09:30 from where you’ll head directly to the Maruike ski fields of Shiga Kogen 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 enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant – options including ‘katsu’ curry, ‘katsudon’, hamburger steak, pizza, ‘sansai soba’, and different types of ‘udon’ are available – looking onto the ski field and have plenty of time to take photographs among the winter landscape before heading back down from the mountains toward Yudanaka Station, where you will board the Snow Monkey Express train back to Nagano Station, where your tour ends at 14:40 – allowing you to continue your Japan journey onto your next destination.
|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. Please note there are also earlier pickups available in Hakuba - from 07:40 to 08:05 - followed by Hotel Kokusai 21 in Nagano City at 09:10.
|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 Hotel Senjukaku, where you guide will say their goodbyes and the evening is yours to enjoy your stay including the hotel’s indoor and outdoor hot springs and acclaimed ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) dinner.
|Your second day begins with breakfast at your hotel, usually around 07:30. You will then be collected by your guide at 09:45 – please be waiting from 09:30 in can the tour is running early - and head directly to the ski fields of Maruike.
|Arrive at the ski resort where you guide will accompany you to the activity area and explain how to use the gear safely, including demonstrating how to use each item, before setting you free to enjoy your time in Japan’s largest ski resort. Should you require rental gear including boots, pants and/or a jacket, your guide will also help you arrange these (noting that there is an additional charge for rental gear). While at the resort, you are free to have lunch– included in the tour price - at any time. Allowing around 40 minutes for lunch, most visitors are able to enjoy around 2 hours of snow activities.
|Board the tour vehicle, depart the ski resort and head to nearby Yudanaka Station. Please note, the second day of the tour will join our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour. Should there be other guests on the day who have joined our 1-day tour, the guide and other guests will disembark the bus at the monkey park and the driver will then drop you at nearby Yudanaka Station – only 5 minutes drive. You can then jump straight onto the train to return to Nagano – unaccompanied but with your fare already paid. Should there be no 1-day guests on that day, your guide will accompany you back on the train.
|Depart Yudanaka Station on the Snow Monkey Express train service bound for Nagano Station.
|Tour concludes at Nagano Station.
This tour operates to and from Nagano Station with the option of also joining from three points in Hakuba:
1 / HAKUBA TOKYU HOTEL, WADANO @ 07:40
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
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.
3 / ECHOLAND BASE CAMP HAKUBA @ 08:05
The final pickup point in Hakuba is Hakuba Base Camp Echoland. Please wait at the main building. 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.
4 / HOTEL KOKUSAI 21 @ 09:10
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.
5 / NAGANO STATION @ 09:35
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.
6 / PATIO DAIMON / ZENKO-JI AREA @ 09:55
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.
- Transport on from / to Hakuba and Nagano and all listed destinations / activities
- Entry fees to the snow activity area in Shiga Kogen and Jigokudani Monkey Park and guided experiences at Zenko-ji and ‘sake’-tasting
- Lunch on both day (vegetarian options are available)
- Accommodation at Hotel Senjukaku (standard room with futon bedding) inc. dinner and breakfast)
- English-speaking guide
- Additional food, snacks & drinks
- Private hot spring option at hotel (however it can be arranged at check-in for additional JPY1500 for 45 min. per group)
- (If required) Rental boots and clothing at the ski resort – these can be provided for an additional cost of JPY500 per item.
- Skiing or snowboarding at Shiga Kogen
- Shinkansen / ‘Bullet Train’ tickets to/from Nagano
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.
- This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking over the two days, including snow activities in Shiga Kogen and a 1.6 km / 1 mile unsealed trail leading to and from the Jigokudani 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 including van, microbus or bus and train.
- 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 lunch may differ to the description included.
- On Day 2 of this tour following snow fun activities and lunch in Shiga Kogen, you will be transported to Yudanaka Station to take the Snow Monkey Express train back to Nagano Station. The cost of this train is included in the tour price. Please note, the second day of the tour will join our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour. Should there be other guests on the day who have joined our 1-day tour, the guide and other guests will disembark the bus at the monkey park and the driver will then drop you at nearby Yudanaka Station – only 5 minutes drive. You can then jump straight onto the train to return to Nagano – unaccompanied but with your fare already paid. Should there be no 1-day guests on that day, your guide will accompany you back on the train.
- On Day 2 of the tour, the 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. It is unlikely that this would happen however we keep the option open in an effort to provide guests the best possible experience on the day.
- This tour does not include skiing or snowboarding, nor is there the time to arrange your own skiing and snowboarding while at the resort.
- Entry to the snow activity area including use of the gear – such as snowdrives, snowscoots, sleds, and tubes – is included in this tour. Should they be required, googles and gloves should also be available free of charge. Rental snowboots, pants and jackets are available but at a fee of JPY500 for 1 item or JPY1000 for 3 items. We cannot however pre-book or guarantee the availability and size of rental gear therefore we encourage all guests to come dressed and prepared as best as possible.
- This tour includes lunch at the restaurant of Maruike Hotel on Day 2. 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 description included
- During the winter it is common to see the monkeys enjoying the hot spring 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 or that the monkeys leave the park early. While this is unlikely to happen, it is possible and is outside of our control.
- Infants (0-5) will not receive lunch at either restaurant on Day 1 and Day 2. Should you require a meal for your infant, please order and pay the restaurant directly.
- 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.
- This tour includes a Japanese Standard Room with traditional futon (on-floor) bedding. It is possible to upgrade your room and/or extend your stay at Hotel Senjukaku however please note to do so, the tour price is likely to substantially increase. If you are interested in this option, please contact us at to discuss prior to booking.
- Infants aged 3-5 years are subject to a charge of JPY12,100. This pays for general amenities including a separate futon and both dinner and breakfast.
- Infants aged 0-2 year are subject to a charge of JPY6,600. This pays for general amenities including a separate futon but does not include dinner or breakfast. If you require dinner and/or breakfast for an infant aged 0-2 you will need to select payment of JPY12,100. Please include this information in the Special Requirements field.
- If you wish to apply as a single traveller, the hotel applies an additional fee of +JPY11,000 to the tour price.
- Pricing of this tour varies depending on which date you choose to stay at Hotel Senjukaku and the hotel rate on that day noting that 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.
- 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 StationTokyo: 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 StationNagano: 15:21 – Tokyo: 16:52 – Hakutaka Nagano: 15:41 – Tokyo: 17:20 – Asama Nagano: 16:19 – Tokyo: 17:52 - Hakutaka 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 Hotel Senjukaku and the hotel rate on that day noting that weekends, public holidays and other peak times equate to higher accommodation rates. This applies to pricing for adult, child and infant (aged 3 to 5) guests but does not affect the price for infant (aged 0 to 2) guests.
- 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 Hotel Senjukaku can typically cater to vegetarian and vegan 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.). On Day 2, lunch is at the ski resort. We cannot guarantee that this restaurant can cater to all requirements as their lunch menu is pre-prepared and cannot be altered. They offer vegetarian options however we cannot guarantee these will be suitable for vegans nor can they alter their menu for allergies, gluten-free and other such needs. We would appreciate 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 involves a significant amount of walking and ability to walk along the unsealed trail to the monkey park and the ski fields of Shiga Kogen. This requires guests to walk across snow and ice including the walk to and from the monkey park. 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.
- What’s included in the snow fun activities in Shiga Kogen?
- On Day 2 of the tour we transport you to the Maruike ski fields of Shiga Kogen. Admission to the snow fun activity area – a fenced-off area designed for families - is included in the this tour including use of gear such as snowdrives, snowscoots, tubes, sleds and more. Sizes are suitable for both children (aged 6 and over) and adults. Infants are welcome to join the tour for free and some gear can be used with the assistance of a parent. The snow activity area is operated by the ski resort and staff may direct the tour to use a specific area on the day. Please listen to your guide for any instructions. Please also note that the activity area is open to the public and non-tour guests are likely to be present. Skiing and snowboarding is not permitted in this area.
- I’d like to package this tour with a different room at Hotel Senjukaku and/or stay for more than 1 night. Is that possible?
- Yes. This tour includes a Standard Japanese Room however you can choose to upgrade to another room type including rooms with Western-style bedding and / or in-room private hot spring. You can also choose to stay more than one night, in which case we will return you to the hotel at the end of the tour. Please note, upgrading the room type and / or 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.
- Is it possible to end the tour at Shiga Kogen?
- Yes. Following snow activities and lunch in Shiga Kogen on Day 2, this tour returns to Nagano Station by train. Should you prefer to stay in Shiga Kogen, the guide will say their goodbyes at Maruike – please note, we are unlikely to be able to transport you to another location / hotel in the ski resort as the tour vehicle will need to depart the resort. If you are interested in this option, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
- Is it possible to combine this tour with a ski package including skiing and snowboarding in Shiga Kogen?
- Yes. We can include this tour as part of a ski package in Shiga Kogen. If you are interested in this option, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
- Is it possible to adjust the schedule and visit the monkeys on Day 2 after snow activities at the ski resort, rather than on Day 1 as described?
- Yes. If you prefer to visit the monkeys on the afternoon of the second day, we can drop you at your accommodation early on Day 1 – around 2PM – rather than come to the park with the other tour guests. You would then visit the monkeys on the afternoon of the second day, after coming down from the ski resort and then return to Nagano by bus with the other tours guests – with an estimated end time of between 17:00 and 18:00. If you are interested in this option, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
(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
Day1: 09:35 - 17:00
Day 2: 09:30 - 14:40