[START FROM NAGANO CITY] Private Snow Monkey Tour

[START FROM NAGANO CITY] Private Snow Monkey Tour


All Year Round


09:00 to 17:15 ~ 18:30

Meeting Place

Any location in Nagano City


122,000 ~ / groupJPY

[START FROM NAGANO CITY] Private Snow Monkey Tour

Home to the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Nagano is a favorite destination for international visitors. Known for its high mountain peaks and abundant snow, ubiquitous hot springs and delicious food, bountiful farmlands and wild nature, Central Japan is a region with so much to offer!


  • Starting from Nagano Station or any Nagano City Hotel, we will pick your party up in our private vehicle to take you on your private tour and drop you off in the Nagano City area or any of Nagano’s 5 Main Ski Resorts!
  • Visit the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique.
  • Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and experience Nagano’s renowned food culture.
  • Stroll the charming streets of the historic town of Obuse, and enjoy viewing its remaining Edo period buildings.
  • Explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples, and home to the first known Buddhist statue to be brought to Japan.
  • Try ‘sake’ with a tasting and learning experience all led by your guide (non-alcoholic options also available).
Bathing Baby Monkey in a Hot Spring

This tour offers amazing value for those keen skiers wanting to hop between ski resorts for their Nagano ski vacations, while seeing some of the best of what Nagano has to offer along the way!


What’s typically included?

  • Although this particular page pertains to a start from Nagano City, we also offer this one-day private tour starting from any of Nagano’s 5 Main Ski Resorts (Nozawa Onsen, Madarao, Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, and Myoko Kogen) with drop-off in Nagano City or any of Nagano’s 5 Main Ski Resorts

A one-day tour (typically) includes:

  • Private vehicle/driver for the duration of the tour
  • Private English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour
  • Entrance to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
  • Lunch 

A private tour provides a different atmosphere from offered group tours, as you can truly enjoy this intimate time with your party to enjoy these amazing locations with no interruptions or unexpected happenings.

The tour cost is calculated per person (aged of 6 years and over) with infants (under 6 years of age) included free of charge. Infants are included free of charge and therefore do not receive lunch (if required, please order directly to the restaurant according to your needs).

Depending on your pick-up and drop-off location, the price will change to account for differences in distance between tour locations. Please understand this when choosing your tour pick-up and drop-off points in the order window.

Tour Description

Once your tour begins, you will board our private tour vehicle and begin your journey to the Snow Monkey Park, located in the onsen town Yudanaka at the foot of the mountains. 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 entire 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 in close proximity. Make sure to bring your camera as you`re going to need it!

Snow Monkeys_180710_0235

Your guide will then accompany back along the trail and you will enjoy a traditional layered Japanese ‘Bento’ Box Lunch with variety that is sure to please any tastes. This specially prepared bento is locally sourced and offers a visually pleasing and decadent experience that will leave you wanting more! This lunch is designed to match the season and highlight the best of Nagano’s renowned food culture.

Hotarutei Lunch

The exact contents and presentation of the lunchbox may not exactly match the pictures provided.

Layer one of the meal features homemade rolled omelettes with seasoned fish with steamed vegetables and beef with sauce, and a bowl of green tea soba noodles.

With a mixed mushroom salad, konjac, deep friend tofu, konjac, and mixed dish that changes with the season, layer two offers tastes that are specific to Nagano prefecture and the former Shinshu Province.

Filled to the brim with charming onigiri of various varieties, salmon, and miso soup, layer three will allow you to experience just how varied these simple pleasures can taste with different preparation.

Hotarutei Lunch

The exact contents and presentation of the lunchbox may not exactly match the pictures provided.

Well-fed and content, it’s time to head-out of Yudanaka to explore the picturesque town of Obuse, and its remaining Edo-style buildings. Known for its historic character, chestnut delicacies and sake breweries, walking the streets of Obuse provides an incredible opportunity to sample some local specialties and appreciate the local culture of Nagano and Japan as a whole in this stroll through time.

After spending some time in Obuse, you will once more board the private vehicle bound for 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 the entire country! A place of true historic importance, full of legends and myths, you will be guided around the temple before your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and food by yourself.

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano city

As Japan’s second largest producer of sake, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Your guide with lead your party to a local producer of sake, and introduce how to differentiate one brew from another as you taste a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The information provided by your guide will allow you to continue to enjoy sake in a meaningful way even after the tour concludes.


After sake tasting concludes, the guide will say their goodbyes as you board the bus to your selected drop-off location. The ride back is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and look through all those monkey photos before you finally arrive safe and sound at your destination!


09:00You will meet and greet with your guide at 9:00 at your designated pick-up location and board the private tour vehicle bound for Snow Monkey Park. It is at this point that your guide will explain the itinerary of the tour and talk to you about the monkeys that reside around the Snow Monkey Park.
10:00Arrive nearby the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park. This timing may take longer in the winter months due to present snowfall.
10:45Arrive at the park and enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives. Be sure to bring your camera!
11:45Depart the park and walk back out along the forest trail toward the lunch venue in Yudanaka.
12:30Enjoy your locally sourced traditional Japanese layered `bento` box lunch at our restaurant.
13:30Board the private tour vehicle once more and depart for the historic town of Obuse.
14:15Stroll the charming streets of Obuse and enjoy the Edo period buildings.
15:00Depart Obuse bound back to Nagano City, with the destination of Zenko-ji Temple.
15:30Arrive at Zenko-ji and begin a guided tour with your guide followed by (time-permitting) some free time to explore the temple precinct.
16:15Meet your guide at their designated meeting spot and make your way to sake tasting, where you will spend the remainder of your tour sampling various Nagano specialties.
17:00Say goodbye to your tour guide, and board the bus to your selected drop-off point.
17:15 ~ 18:30Depending on your drop-off point you will arrive at your desired location within this time frame.



  • Private vehicle with driver
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available)
  • Guided tour at Zenko-ji, ‘sake’-tasting, Obuse, and at the monkey park
  • English-speaking guide


  • Additional food, snacks & drinks
  • Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple
  • Shinkansen / ‘Bullet Train’ tickets
  • Accommodation

Other Information

  • There will be a significant amount of walking required (1.6 km one way) to get to and from the Snow Monkey Park, along an unsealed forest trail so please wear appropriate shoes/boots.
  • 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 uses different forms of transport. Tours can be conducted by 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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, especially during winter i.e. from December to March.

Why choose us?

Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano and Central Japan.

We want all of our guests have the best possible time in Nagano, so good, that we hope you’ll come back again! We love our home region and want you to love it to… we’d love to see you here in Nagano!


I’d like to be dropped-off at a different location from where the tour begins. Is that possible?
Yes. This tour is designed to allow for multiple pick-up and drop-off options from common travel destinations in Nagano, including Nagano Station, Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen, Madarao, Shiga Kogen, and Myoko Kogen. You are able to choose between any of these destinations and it will automatically calculate the correct price for these locations.

If your party wishes to be dropped off at an area outside of Nagano City, and not at one of these five ski resorts, that is outside the range of this particular tour, and you would need to make a general inquiry for us to calculate that different pick-up/drop-off point.
I'd like to join this tour from Tokyo and start at Nagano Station. 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 times of this 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: 08:03 – Hakutaka
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:37 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:42 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only*

*Nagano Station is a small station and our morning meet-up point is directly opposite the shinkansen/bullet train tickets gates at 09:00. Therefore you can take the 07:20 – 08:42 train service however please ensure you come straight to the meeting point after your train arrives.

Departing Nagano Station - Arriving Tokyo Station

Nagano: 17:56 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki – reserved seats only
Nagano: 18:23 – 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.
I don't want one of the locations in this tour, or want to go to a different location along with the snow monkey park! Is this possible?
This tour page specifically caters to those who would like this specific itinerary as a way to see some of the best of what Nagano has to offer, including Zenko-ji, Obuse, and Snow Monkey Park, while also providing the convenience of transporting the guests to, from, or between ski resorts without hassle.

If you would like to change this itinerary, please use our website to make a private tour inquiry which includes the details of what you would like in your tour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
I have specific dietary requirements. Can these be catered for?
Yes. This tour typically uses Hotarutei in Yamanouchi as our lunch restaurant (noting that we may occasionally need to use another). Hotarutei 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 different 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 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
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara