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[NOV 23 ONLY] 1-Day Tour: Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival & Snow Monkeys

[NOV 23 ONLY] 1-Day Tour: Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival & Snow Monkeys

Period

November 23

Time

11:00 - 21:00

Meeting Place

Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 20,500 JPY
Child (4 - 12) 16,000 JPY
Infant (0 - 3) 5,000 JPY

With over 15,000 individual fireworks lighting-up the crisp autumn sky, Nagano’s annual Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival attracts over 400,000 people to the city to watch this amazing spectacle. As Japan’s largest and most beautiful autumn fireworks display, this tour includes reserved seating at the event with a visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park – home to the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs – and late lunch at one of the region’s best restaurants. This once a year tour is one of our most popular and is sure to leave a lasting impression long after the fireworks fade away!

 

Highlights

  • Visit Nagano’s world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park – home to the only hot spring-bathing monkeys in the world!
  • Enjoy a late lunch at Hotaru-tei – a 160-year old converted mansion and one of the region’s best restaurants
  • Experience Japan’s largest and most beautiful autumn fireworks display – the Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival – including reserved seating for an uninterrupted view of this stunning event!

 

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

 

Your guide will meet you at Nagano Station at 11:00-11:10am – the guide will be there from 10:50am – and once all guests have arrived, get the tour started by heading toward the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Accessed via the ‘onsen’ (hot spring) village of Kanbayashi Onsen, you will be dropped as close as possible to the park before your guide takes you along the forest trail leading into the park itself (1.6km each way), taking approximately 30 minutes.

 

Snow monkey in a tree

 

This beautiful and easy walk builds anticipation before arriving at the park where you will encounter the monkeys – Japanese macaques – and their unique behaviour of soaking in the hot spring. With no barriers between you and the monkeys, you are free to enjoy watching them bathe, play, fed, and endlessly groom each other – remember to bring your camera, you’re going to need it!

 

Bathing Baby Monkey in a Hot Spring

 

From there your guide will take you back along the forest trail and to a nearby restaurant for a well-earned late lunch. Hotaru-tei is housed in a 160-year old merchant family mansion – recently converted to a restaurant – which has quickly established itself as one of the region’s best. In the historic surroundings of this traditional building, you can enjoy Japan and Nagano’s renowned food culture.

 

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Leaving the restaurant it’s time to head back to Nagano and get seated for the largest autumn fireworks display in Japan! Held of the banks of the Sai River, this stunning display has been held since 1899, when a group of local merchants first held a bargain sale and daylong fireworks to express their gratitude toward Ebisu – one of Japan’s seven lucky gods – and pray for prosperous business and harvest to come.

 

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Over the years the fireworks have grown to what they are today – Japan’s largest autumn fireworks display which attracts an audience of more than 400,000 people! This tour includes reserved seating to ensure you have an uninterrupted view of the fireworks and can enjoy the show in comfort. Running from 18:00 to 20:00, the crisp autumn sky radiates in the light of more than 15,000 individual pyrotechnics, culminating in the dazzling main event which closes out the show.

 

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Once done your guide will help you navigate to the crowds back to your bus for the short drive to Nagano Station where the tour concludes at approximately 21:00 to 21:15*.

 

*Please note, due to the size of the crowd returning to Nagano Station can be delayed and there will be many people using the trains to depart Nagano. For that reason, we recommend booking accommodation nearby the station and to do so well in advance of the festival, as hotels will book-out. Should you wish to depart Nagano after the tour, make sure to book your train ticket in advance – we recommend booking a reserved seat – but please do so no earlier than the 21:46 service bound for Tokyo (to avoid missing your train if there is a delay to the tour end time).

ITINERARY

11:00-11:10 Meet up with the guide at the Information Board of JR Nagano Station, across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance. Your guide will be there from 10:50.
12:20 Welcome to the Monkey area! From the entrance we will walk for 30 minutes along a forest trail to get to the Monkey Park.
12:50 Arrive at the park where you can enjoy observing the monkeys in close proximity.
13:50 Depart the park and walk back out along the forest trail.
14:30 Arrive at Hotau-tei, where you can enjoy a late lunch to recharge your energy.
15:30 Depart the restaurant and head toward Nagano.
16:40 Arrive nearby the festival grounds and walk to your reserved seating. From this point you walk around and try the many food, souvenir, and gifts stalls and enjoy the festival atmosphere.
18:00 The spectacular fireworks bursts into the night sky and continue over the next two hours.
20:00 End of the festival! Your guide will lead you through the crowd and back to your bus, before heading to Nagano Station.
21:00-21:15 Arrival at Nagano Station, where the tour concludes and from where you can continue your travels through Japan. The Shinkansen timetable to Tokyo and Kanazawa is listed in FAQ section of the page.

NOTES

Included

  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
  • Jigokudani Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Reserved ‘Ebisu’ seat at the Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • Sake tasting
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded

  • Shinkasen/Bullet Train tickets
  • Dinner (there are many vendors at the festival so you can choose freely from what is available there)
  • Additional food, snacks & drinks
  • Accommodation

 

Other Information

  • There will be a lot of walking on paved and unpaved roads so please wear suitable shoes. If required, rental boots can be arranged while at the monkey park.
  • It will be cold in the end of November in Nagano with a possibility of snowfall and temperatures falling below 0°C degrees. The cold is especially apparent at night so please wear warm clothes fit for winter.
  • 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.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • A infant (0-3) lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
  • There will be a lot of people leaving for places like Tokyo and Kanazawa after the festival. It is expected to be very busy so be sure to book either your Shinkansen tickets or your hotel in/around Nagano in advance. If you wish to stay the night in the area, see our hotels page for Nagano City.
  • The tour application deadline is 5 days before the tour at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

Nagano Station Information Board

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

FAQ

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: 09:04 – Nagano: 10:39 – Asama

Tokyo: 09:20 – Nagano: 10:46 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) 

Tokyo: 09:32 – Nagano: 11:05 – Hakutaka*

 

* You can still take the 09:32 – 11:05 (Hakutaka) train since JR Nagano Station is small and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up points is directly opposite the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight to that point if using this train.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

 

Nagano: 21:46 – Tokyo: 23:24 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 22:08 – Tokyo: 23:32 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Kanazawa Station:

 

Nagano: 21:21 – Kanazawa: 22:30 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 21:54 – Kanazawa: 23:21 – Hakutaka

Nagano: 22:28 – Kanazawa: 23:35 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

 

What type of reserved seating is included in the tour?

 

Your tour booking includes a reserved ‘Ebisu Seat’ at the fireworks festival, providing an excellent view of the display. Your guide will lead guests to the reserved seating area – which is separated from the overall festival and includes toilets exclusively for the use of guests in the area – and stay nearby during the fireworks display to assist you if necessary. During the fireworks, you are free to move around included leaving the reserved area to wander through the crowds and buy food, drinks and snacks from the many vendors at the festival, should you wish to. If you do so, please ensure that you are back in the reserved seating area by the end of the fireworks display for the agreed meetup time with your guide and the other guests.

 

What should I wear on the day of the tour?

 

The weather in late-November is typically warm during the day and cold at night.  You can expect a day-time temperature of between 12 to 18°C with the temperature at night dropping as low as 0°C. It usually doesn’t rain in late-November however there is always the possibility of snow, especially at night. On the day of the tour, please ensure you are prepared for cold temperatures at night by bringing a good quality jacket, gloves and hat. During the fireworks festival while seated, the cold can really sneak-up on you so please come prepared to stay warm.

 

I have specific dietary requirements. Can these be catered for?

 

Yes. This tour typically uses Hotaru-tei in Kanbayashi Onsen as the tour restaurant. Hotaru-tei can cater to dietary requirements including pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and allergies. We would appreciate if you can let us know in advance by entering that information in the booking form. Please note that some dietary restrictions may require the restaurant to prepare a dinner lunch to the typical tour meal.

 

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 – 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 making it difficult to move along in a wheelchair and there is a relatively steep staircase at the end of the trail leading into the park. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle walk the distance in the allocated time. At the fireworks festival, the size of the crowd means it is extremely difficult for persons using wheelchairs or are mobility-impaired, to safely navigate the crowd. 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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