1-Day Tour in Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple and Sake

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Get transported all the way from Nagano Station to the world famous Snow Monkeys and have a wonderful afternoon as well at the historically important Zenkoji Temple filled with history and urban legends!

overview icon Highlights

  • Take photos with the world-famous snow monkeys
  • Enjoy lunch at a restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park
  • Explore the famous Zenkoji Temple
  • Shop at Nakamise street
  • Try Japanese sake at a Nagano's historic sake brewery

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overview icon Meeting Point

Nagano station, directly in front of the Shinkansen exit at the information board towards the East Exit.

Important Information

・We will meet at Nagano Station at 08:45 am and the guide will be at the meeting point by 8:30 am.

・There will be a substantial amount of walking involved, although routes we take will be generally flat and easy to walk. In winter the forest trail can get slippery.

・There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case the park is closed and we will provide an alternative activity.

・The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

Departure Tokyo Station – Arrival 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)

Departure Nagano Station – Arrival Tokyo Station
Nagano: 17:34 – Tokyo: 19:12 – Hakutaka
Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)
Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka

・There is also a possibility, depending on the situation, to take this tour when staying in the Yudanaka or Shibu area! This also goes for those staying at the Shiga-kogen area, but only during the winter months. Please note that the meeting point will be Yudanaka Station for the former two and for the latter it will be Hassuike bus terminal. The time of meeting will change as well as the time of return. Please make sure to let us know at the time of booking as to where you are staying so we can inform you.

What you need to bring

Please wear suitable shoes for walking a forest trail (no heels please!) and a bag that is easy to carry. We recommend a small ruck sack.

Meet your host :
Snow Monkey Resorts
  • 日本語 (Fluent)
  • English (Fluent)
  • Nederlands (Fluent)

Snow Monkey Resorts is a tour company based at the foot of the Snow Monkey Park. We have with a passion for all there is to be experienced in Nagano Prefecture and want to share the hidden gems of the mountainous region with you.

With our tours we will show you the famous snow monkeys relaxing in their hot spring bath, take you to one of Japan’s most important temples, cycle around the countryside, hike up to the Shiga-kogen Highlands, and more. Snow Monkey Resorts has an international team of tour guides with an abundance of knowledge on Nagano. Our guides will tell you all you want to know about the way of life and the happenings of the region.

Come and discover the beauty of the prefecture of Nagano with us!
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Reviews (11)

  • Mark Mark

    Best day on my trip to Japan

    This was probably the best day of my trip to Japan. I got the shinkansen for Tokyo and was met by my guide Sjaak at Nagona station. We got on a local train which passed through the most beautiful countryside to a small village where a car was waiting to drive us up to the Snow Monkey Park. On the way we pass a Ryokan which was the inspiration for the in featured in Ghibli's Spirited Away, one of my favourite films. I would have been delighted just seeing that but we carried on until we got to the park where we walked through the most amazing forest I've ever seen to the area where the monkeys are. This was such an amazing experience for me, you can get up really close and the day I was there there were quite a few to be seen. After stopping for the we got another train to Zenkoji, a stunning Seen Temple which was great to explore before getting a local bus back to Nagona station where the tour ended. I highly recommend this tour, a real wow moment of my whole trip

  • Natasha Natasha

    Highly recommend this tour, really well put together and amazing guide.

    We were going to make our own way from Tokyo to see the snow monkeys but then my husband found this trip, well worth the money as makes getting to the snow monkeys so much easier than doing it on your own as there are trains, buses and cars involved to get there. We were met at Nagano station by our guide who was brilliant, there were another couple from Singapore with us too on the trip . We weren't too interested initially in the temple part of the trip having seen tours at temples before and listened to guides going on and on but I have to say we loved the temple part of the tour, our guide was informative without dragging it out and allowed the four of us to go where we wanted and gave u time to visit the shops and take photos before meeting back up with us for the trip to see the monkeys. As the train approached the station it started to snow and it snowed for the rest of the day, this only added to the magic and was perfect. I can't recommend this tour enough. if you are going to Japan and want a day out somewhere different and to see the monkeys this is the perfect tour.

  • Amanda Amanda

    I’m so glad we did this! My boyfriend and I agreed it was the highlight for both of us and made the whole trip worthwhile.

    We had a great time seeing the snow monkeys. Our two private tour guides took such great care of us. They were so friendly and made everything completely hassle-free. The first part of the tour was exploring the town of Nagano which is actually where our female tour guide grew up, so it was great being able to walk around with a local as she told us different stories about her life there. We took a train later on to the mountain town where the snow monkeys live, and my boyfriend and I had our own private train car on the way which we weren’t expecting. How fancy! (The cost of that train ticket was included in the tour package.) When we got there, we had lunch (also included in the package!) at the Enza Café. Delicious ramen, salad, and sushi! After that, we made our way up to see the monkeys. The walk was super easy, but it was definitely cold! Our guide had a spare pair of gloves with him which he offered to let me use, and they totally saved my fingers! Taking photos for an hour in the freezing cold isn’t so fun without gloves, so I’m so fortunate he had extras. The monkeys were great. :) I’m so glad we did this! My boyfriend and I agreed it was the highlight for both of us and made the whole trip worthwhile. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, definitely fit this in, and if you’re looking for a great tour company, I highly recommend Snow Monkey Resorts!

    You can read my blog post about it here: http://www.littletranquility.com/jigokudani-snow-monkey-park-in-japan/

  • Mark Mark


    The snow Monkeys are unbelievable. So great to see wildlife this close.
    Don't feed, don't touch, and don't make eye contact... No, not the safety instructions at the new Jurassic World, but of the Snow monkeys!

    Also, big shout out to the Ramen restaurant next door to the gift shop. Very Very good!


  • Alexandria Alexandria

    Snow Monkeys 🐒

    Thank-you Mayumi, for a fantastic day ! Seeing the monkeys was awesome. There is something magical about seeing them up close that is difficult to describe. You were so friendly and funny that it made the day extra special. Regarding other people's reviews: it is made very clear that there are no guarantees regarding the snow monkeys. Given they are creatures living in the wild this is obvious, but the communication from the company was always very consistent and clear about the fact that sometimes the monkeys don't show up. The company can't control when mating season occurs. We were well informed and happy to take our chances. Thanks for all the little snacks along the way, letting me practice my Japanese and for all the other little things that made the day wonderful. 🐒

  • Joshua Joshua

    Incredible day tour. Went to Zenkoji temple which is very spiritual and beautiful followed by some oyaki and miso ice cream (highly recommended). Lunch at a lovely cafe serving excellent chicken-based ramen and great coffee, followed by the snow monkeys. Was amazing to watch them play and interact with each other up close and bathe in the onsen (lucky monkeys). The surrounding scenery is beautiful and it was great to get back to nature after spending a lot of time in the Japanese cities on our trip. Joanne was an amazing host. She was friendly, fun and knowledgeable and made the day really memorable. Highly recommend this tour.

  • Chloe Chloe

    Great Tour!

    Our tour guide (Shak) was amazing. He had excellent knowledge of the area and we learnt a lot about the Zenkoji Temple and Snow Monkeys. Would love to go back in the winter when there are more monkeys in and around the onsets. We still saw plenty of Monkeys and this day was definitely a highlight of our trip!

  • Andrew Andrew

    Really Wonderful Experience

    From the initial meet and greet at Nagano station through the return trip home, the experienced was a delight. David, our guide, was very friendly and accommodating and made sure everyone felt comfortable and welcomed. He was knowledgeable and was the perfect host/guide for this tour. The tour itself was quite delightful and satisfying. I would highly recommend this tour for everyone. I'm very pleased with the experience and will definitely be using voyagin to book future excursions.

  • Joshua Joshua

    Snow Monkey Visit is a Must!

    I was very happy with my trip to see the snow monkey's. The guide met on time as promised and we were able to see the Zenko-ji temple in Nagano first. We then took an hour bus ride to see the snow monkey's. We had a delicious ramen lunch and hiked about 25-30 minutes to see the snow monkey's. It was awesome to see them in their natural habitat. After we were done we got on the bus to take us back to the Nagano station. We came from Tokyo, and it is definitely a full day trip! I would highly recommend.

  • Jill Jill

    Excellent Day Trip from Tokyo

    I had an awesome time on this tour!! First, its an easy train ride from Tokyo to Nagano Station. Once I got there I was met by the guide (David) and we took a short bus ride to the temple which was beautiful! David was very knowledgeable and fun!! We had a great time walking around. He suggested miso ice cream which was delicious!! Definitely get some for a snack! Then we took a short ride around Nagano which was really neat town and then on to the Snow Monkey Park. We ate lunch at the restaurant at the park and the food was AMAZING!! I had the soup and it was so delicious! After lunch, we walked a short walk to see the monkeys which were so cute!!! We stayed for along time and I took a million picture!! They were all over the springs and so fun!! I definitely recommend this tour!!