How to get from Nagano to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Snow monkeys hanging out at the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park near Nagano

Snow monkeys hanging out at the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park near Nagano

One of the main reasons you should visit Nagano is for the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, a unique onsen, or hot spring, filled with wild Japanese Macaques. Yes, you read that correctly. There is a hot spring with wild monkeys that you can visit in Japan. The park, located northeast of Nagano, requires a little work to reach, including a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) trek on a narrow pathway through a beautiful snow-covered (in the winter) forest.

If you are deciding if you should make the effort, the answer is definitely yes. It is one of the most unique sights you will see anywhere in Asia or in the world. Oh, and your friends will be jealous when they see photos of you hanging out with snow monkeys only inches away from you.

To reach the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park from Nagano, you have two main options: train or express bus.

Seems simple right? In reality, the transportation options can be confusing for first-time visitors. Even I got a little confused with all the different options of trains and buses. I will try to explain better below.

With that said, before you decide which form of transportation you want to use, you should learn about the Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass.

Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass

If you will be traveling round trip from Nagano Station to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, then the Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass is highly recommended. It will save you money and the hassle of buying individual train, bus, and admission tickets.

Note: the pass is not always for sale, especially in the summer. For the 2017-2018 winter season, the pass will be sold starting on December 2, 2017.

Snow Monkey 1 Day Pass

Snow Monkey 1 Day Pass

The Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass includes:

  • One-day unlimited use of the Nagaden Train
  • One-day unlimited use of the Nagaden Express Bus between Nagano Station and Kanbayashi Onsen
  • One day unlimited use of the local Nagaden Bus between Yudanaka Station and Kanbayashi Onsen
  • Admission to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

As of December 2017, this pass is offered to foreign visitors for 3,200 yen ($28.82) and is good for one calendar day. This is a steal considering it costs 1,160-1,260 yen one way to take the Nagaden train or 1400 yen one way to take the Nagaden bus. Admission to the park is also covered with the pass which would normally cost you 500 yen.

Credit cards were not accepted even though the sticker on the window said otherwise. Neither the bus or train are covered by any JR pass.

The pass can only be purchased from the window inside the Nagaden Nagano Station. This station is located underground directly next to the JR Nagano Station. With your back facing the main entrance of the JR Nagano Station, walk to your right until you see a staircase that leads downstairs to the Nagaden Nagano Station.

With your pass in hand, it is now time to decide how you will get to the park.

Getting from Nagano to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park by Nagano Dentetsu Bus

Nagaden bus outside Nagano Station headed towards Shiga Kogen

Nagaden bus outside Nagano Station headed towards Shiga Kogen

In my opinion, getting to the park by bus is your easiest option.

From Nagano Station, take the Nagano Dentetsu Bus (Nagaden) towards Shiga Kogen. This bus makes a stop at Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi, a short walk from the entrance to the monkey park. These buses do no stop at Yudanaka Station. Check out the maps at the bottom of the page for a better understanding of the area.

If you choose to take the express bus, make sure you board the bus towards Shiga Kogen (disembark at Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi).

The bus fare is included with the Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass. Just show the bus driver your pass. If you wish to pay with cash, the cost is 1,400 yen/one way and you can pay the bus driver directly.

When I boarded the bus, I was a little surprised. Other than a couple next to me from San Francisco, the bus was virtually empty so no need to worry about a full bus.

The bus will stop at Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi. You will be dropped off near a gas station. From the gas station, walk downhill and turn right at the first road (don’t turn right into the small parking lot). Signs along the way will point you in the right direction. Continue up the road the until you reach a junction. Make a right and continue up the road for another five minutes until you reach the start of the walking trail.

From Nagano Station to Snow Monkey Park
Nagano Station Snow Monkey Park
8:15 9:02
9:00 9:47
10:15 11:05
10:15 11:02
11:15 12:02
12:15 13:05
12:35 13:22
13:20 14:07
14:30 15:17
15:15 16:05
17:15 18:02
From Snow Monkey Park to Nagano Station
Snow Monkey Park Nagano Station
8:40 9:36
10:50 11:46
12:50 13:46
14:05 15:00
14:50 15:46
15:15 16:11
16:15 17:11
16:35 17:35
17:15 18:23
18:10 19:11

Getting from Nagano Station to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park by train

JR Nagano Station.  The Nagaden Nagano Station entrance is located on the left

JR Nagano Station. The Nagaden Nagano Station entrance is located on the left

Using the train to get to the park is a little more time consuming and will require extra modes of transportation including a bus.

First, I will explain how to get from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station.

Nagano to Yudanaka Station

Nagaden Limited Express Train (left) and Nagaden Local Train (right)

Nagaden Limited Express Train (left) and Nagaden Local Train (right)

The Nagano Electric Railway, commonly known as Nagaden, operates two trains per hour between Nagaden Nagano Station (next to the JR Nagano Station) and Yudanaka Station, which is located in Yamanouchi. One train is limited express while the other is local.

If you decide to take the train, use your Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass or purchase a ticket for the Nagano Dentetsu Line (Nagaden) towards Yudanaka Station.

The Nagano Electric Railway Limited Express takes about 50 minutes and costs 1,260 yen. It requires no transfers to reach Yudanaka Station.

The local Nagano Electric Railway train costs 1,160 yen and can take anywhere from 53 to 81 minutes, including transfers, to reach Yudanaka Station. If you choose to take this local train, you will have to transfer one time at Shinshunakano Station.

Taking the limited express train is well worth the extra 100 yen cost. Be sure to plan ahead and check the train schedules.

Also, note that these trains are not covered by any Japan Rail Pass but fully covered by the Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass.

Yudanaka Station to the bus stop(s) near Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Yudanaka Station

Yudanaka Station

Once you arrive at Yudanaka Station, you will need to board a bus. This is where it gets a little confusing.

From the station, you will need to board a bus that stops at either Kanbayashi Onsen (closest to the monkey park) or Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi (just down the road about 200 meters). In the winter, the buses leave every hour, taking about 9-15 minutes (310 yen).

It really does not matter which bus you get on if you don’t mind walking an extra 5 minutes. Just get on whichever bus is next. No point waiting around at the station to save only five minutes.

Bus stop to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

The Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi bus stop is located next to this gas station

The Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi bus stop is located next to this gas station

If your bus stops at the Kanbayashi Onsen bus stop, continue uphill for about five minutes until you reach the start of the walking trail.

If your bus stops at the Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi bus stop, you will be dropped off near a gas station off the main road. From here, walk downhill and turn right at the first road after the small parking lot. Signs along the way will point you in the right direction. Continue up the road until you reach a junction. Make a right at the junction and continue up the road for another five minutes until you reach the start of the walking trail.

Admission for the train, bus, and monkey park are all covered by the Snow Monkey 1-Day Pass.

The trail head to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

The trail head to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

From the trailhead, it is a 1.6-kilometer hike to reach the snow monkeys. Use caution in the winter as the trail will be slippery and covered in snow.

Confused? So am I. Hopefully these maps below explain it a little better.

Kanbayashi Spa area map

Kanbayashi Spa area map

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    July 11, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Thanks for the post! Super helpful!
    I’m just a bit worried about how I will know when to get off the bus. Will they announce the name of the next bus stop before you arrive?

    Thanks again

    • Reply
      Anthony
      July 11, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Glad I could help! From what I remember, the only people on the bus with me were getting off at the monkey park, so the bus driver signaled us at the stop. To be safe, just say “monkey park” to the driver when you board the bus. Even if he does not understand English, I am sure he will point to you when it is time to get off. Otherwise, keep en eye out for the gas station in the photo.

      • Reply
        Beth
        July 12, 2015 at 7:19 am

        Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    ernie
    July 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Hi there!
    I’m researching for my Nov trip and curious to know, the Snow Monkey Pass can be purchased on the spot at Nagaden Nagano Station or need to order online first, like from JapaniCan?

    • Reply
      Anthony
      July 16, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Yes, the Snow Monkey Pass can be purchased on the spot at the Nagaden Nagano Station. When I went in January, it was cash only even with credit card stickers on the ticket window.

  • Reply
    Vincent
    November 4, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for the helpful information! Can you tell me where I can board the bus after visiting the monkey park?

    I’m planning to go in late December and taking Shinkansen to Nagano and back, so I want to make sure I won’t miss the train.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 8, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Vincent,

      Assuming you are taking the Nagaden Bus from Nagano Station to the Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi bus stop, you would pick up the bus back to Nagano just across the street from where you were originally dropped off.

      • Reply
        Vincent
        November 12, 2015 at 5:26 am

        Thank you Anthony! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam
    January 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks a lot! Very clear and helpful 🙂

    • Reply
      Anthony
      January 24, 2016 at 2:30 am

      Thanks Sam. Glad I could be of assistance.

  • Reply
    Es
    February 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Hello,
    How long does the bus take from Nagano to the monkey park? Also, do you know how often the bus comes/goes? Thanks for the informative post!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      February 10, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Es,

      The Nagaden Express Bus from Nagano Station to Kanbayashi Onsen takes about 41 minutes.

      Until April 4, 2016, the bus departs at 8:15 (Saturdays only until March 26, 2016), 9:05, 10:15, 11:15, 12:40, and 14:25.

      Be sure to confirm these times on your arrival in Nagano.

  • Reply
    Mike00
    February 10, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Hi Anthony, doing my research for the snow park found this really helpful. I have a question regarding timing.
    We would take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano and arrive at 8:46. I found the next bus to the Snow monkey bus stop leaves at 9:05 (http://www.snowmonkeyresorts.com/access/)

    Do you think those ~20 minutes will be enough to purchase the snow monkey pass in the station and find the bus? (also we’d like to find a locker to leave our backpacks, though that might be out of the question with the limited time)

    we’ll be there in the middle of March and want to be at the park as early as possible (bus at 9:05) to increase our chances of seeing the monkeys in the onsen.

    thanks for your time!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      February 10, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Mike,

      This is a tough question to answer.

      If the Shinkansen arrives in Nagano on time (which they usually do), then 19 minutes could be enough time if you walk fast and know exactly where to go to buy the tickets and board the bus. I worry if this is your first time at Nagano Station that you might get lost and lose valuable time.

      Also remember that you will have to leave JR Nagano Station and walk over to the adjacent Nagaden Nagano Station to purchase the snow monkey pass.

      Just try your best to make the connection and worst case you have to wait for the next bus an hour later.

      • Reply
        Kevin
        August 27, 2016 at 7:15 am

        In case it’s helpful for others, the train company suggests it’s a 10 minute transfer time, including ticket purchase.
        http://www.nagaden-net.co.jp.e.yv.hp.transer.com/info/station/nagano.php

        Having the information from your post is very helpful to improve the chances of meeting that.

        Which exit at Nagano Station do you take to catch the Nagano Dentetsu Bus (Nagaden) towards Shiga Kogen? Is it the East Exit or the Zenkoji Exit? (http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e1105.html)

        • Reply
          Anthony
          August 30, 2016 at 9:31 am

          Kevin,

          To catch the Nagano Dentetsu Bus (Nagaden) towards Shiga Kogen you would use the East Exit. Another thing to note: since I published this post, construction at Nagano Station has been completed. You can now take an escalator down to the Nagaden Nagano Station from just outside the Zenkoji Exit. I will have to update this post.

  • Reply
    Lucy
    February 17, 2016 at 10:15 am

    My mom and I used your info to get to/from the monkeys today! The snow monkey pass was useful if not quick. I will make sure to share this when people ask how to get there!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      February 18, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Thank you Lucy!

  • Reply
    Calvin
    March 10, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Hi Anthony,

    Would you know if the park is as snowy as the trailhead picture shown, in end March? Would the temperature be significantly different from when the picture was taken (when was it taken by the way)?

    Rgds
    Calvin

    • Reply
      Anthony
      March 13, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Calvin,

      This photo was taken in January, so I wouldn’t think there would be as much snow at the end of March.

      A great way to get up to the moment photos of the snow monkey park is by searching tags on Instagram. People should be posting photos in the moment, so you can get a good sense of the current conditions.

      Even with all this, weather can change quickly, so always be prepared.

  • Reply
    Simon
    April 17, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Hi Anthony,

    What an absolutely GREAT article which, like the others before, will doubtless prove hugely useful to me! (I am about to head off from London to Japan with my 80-year old mother, so your guide to reaching the snow monkeys will be invaluable, frankly!)

    May I ask a question, Anthony?

    When you are leaving the park after having seen the monkeys, how easy is it to retrace the same route back to Nagano? Specifically, how EASY/DIFFICULT is it to:

    (a) Collect the return “Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) Bus” — for instance, is the return bus stop near to the gas station, just on the other side?

    (b) Get back to Yudanaka station from the trail start point (which, perhaps wrongly, I assume you need to walk back down to once you’re finished at the Park?) if you decide to take the train back to Nagano? (Or perhaps hailing a taxi is a possibility to get back to Yudanaka station?)

    Any hints, Anthony, would be so gratefully received.

    All the best,

    Simon

    • Reply
      Anthony
      April 28, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Simon,

      Sorry for the late reply, just got back from Singapore and have been super busy.

      Thank you for the questions.

      (a) The bus stop for the Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) Bus back into Nagao was located on the opposite side of the road about 50 meters north of where it dropped you off from. Just look out for a group of people waiting for the bus. If you take this route, the bus will take you directly back to Nagano Station, bypassing Yudanaka Station.

      (b) If you decide to take the train back to Nagano, you will either have to walk, taxi, or take the bus to Yudanaka Station. This bus departs from Kanbayashi Onsen Bus Stop, which is located about 350 meters downhill from the monkey park trailhead.

      It has been almost 2 years since I made the journey, so hopefully all the information is still correct. I also updated the Google Map above so hopefully that will make it easier for you to understand.

  • Reply
    L
    September 5, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hi Anthony,
    Do you know if a foreigner on a working visa can still purchase the 1-day pass at the ‎¥2,900 price?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      September 10, 2016 at 12:35 am

      L,

      Unfortunately I do not know the answer to this question. Please let me know if you find out.

  • Reply
    Nicole Soh
    October 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Hey Anthony

    Your information is what’s gonna help me get there when I head down in December. Just to let you know that due to the entrance fee increasing in December 2016 (500 to 800), the snow pass now costs 3200jpy.

    Cheers!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      October 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Nicole,

      Thank you for the update. When I went was in 2014 so I assumed things have changed and prices have increased. Maybe I will have to go again and update this post this winter.

  • Reply
    Jeff
    November 21, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Hi Anthony,

    How much time should I allocate to spend at the Snow Monkey Park? Meaning from time of arrival and walking up the trail (and back)
    plus time viewing the monkeys. I presume it gets dark by about 4 or 5 pm.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 28, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Jeff,

      The trail was about one mile, so walking in snow at a good pace should take about 30 minutes each way. I spent about 45 minutes taking photos and videos of the monkeys. I would allocate about 2-2.5 hours from the start of the hike, visiting the monkeys, and back to the trail head. With the sun starting to set around 430pm in the winter, I would recommend starting the hike no later than 1pm, earlier if possible.

  • Reply
    Arie Wijayanti
    December 6, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for sharing your journey! This is so helpful.
    Two questions though – what’s the difficulty level of the trail? Is there any station to stop and rest along the way?
    The only reason i’m asking is that i’m going with my 66 YO mom and we never experience snow-trekking.
    She’s cool walking flat surface, but not so much with inclination.

    Thanks before!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      December 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Arie,

      The trail wasn’t difficult at all except for the fact that it was covered in snow in the winter. Just walk slowly and you should be ok but be alert for the occasional slippery step.

      Once you start the trail, I don’t recall any rest stops, but you can stop on the trail wherever you like and take a break.

  • Reply
    Danny
    March 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Anthony,
    Thank you so much for writing this. This saves me so much trouble and research. 🙂
    I was wondering, do you know where I can find a timetable for the Nagaden bus after April 3rd? I will be arriving at Shibu Onsen on April 7th and going to the monkey park on the 8th, then need to get to Nagano Station afterwards. I saw somewhere that there are only 4 Nagaden buses a day after wintertime, so I’d like to plan transit times as much as possible.
    I really appreciate it.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      March 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

      Danny,

      Just outside the central gate of Nagano Station is the Nagano City Tourist Information Center. You will be able to find out the bus schedule here.

  • Reply
    Rina
    July 8, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Seems like they the most innocent monkeys in the world. Its a worth visit place. One needs to be careful while walking, as the ground is very slippery.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Rina,
      Innocent monkeys yes, but be sure not to have any food or snacks on you. Those monkeys sure love food. And yes, the trails can be very slippery in the winter when covered in snow.

  • Reply
    elizabeth stephen
    August 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Hello Anthony thank you for all your information ,going with a bus tour Wendy wu early november to see the Snow monkeys I am 73 years ,and planning to tale my walking polls ,just a bit worried about the weather ,as i am on my own now thats why I go with organised tours ,however its reasuring reading your help blogs thank you Elizabeth

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 27, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Elizabeth,

      I hope you had a great time visiting the snow monkeys. In November, there usually isn’t too much snow yet, so the ground isn’t as slippery as it can be in the middle of the winter.

  • Reply
    Jeni
    August 12, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Hi Anthony,

    Do you think it is possible for daytour to Nagano Snow Monkey Park from Tokyo?

    Thanks

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Jeni,

      Yes. It will be a long day, but if you take the bullet train (Shinkansen) from Tokyo to Nagano, you can easily do the snow monkey park as a day trip.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 15, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Hi Anthony.
    I just read all your comments and notice you didnt answer if you could leave our luggage at the station so can we?

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 27, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Cathy,

      Sorry for the late reply. You can leave luggage at almost all stations in Japan including Nagano Station.

  • Reply
    Carmel
    October 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Anthony,
    My son and I will have suitcases with us as we will be moving on from our days in Tokyo and plan to head to Hiroshima after visiting Nanago. Is there anywhere that we could leave our suitcases while at the park?
    Thanking you for your help.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 27, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Carmel,

      I don’t remember seeing any storage lockers near the monkey park but Nagano Station does.

  • Reply
    Kulia
    November 19, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Do you happen to know if the monkeys are there all day during late December and early January? Or is there a better time of the day to see them?

    • Reply
      Anthony
      November 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Kulia,

      The park is only open until 4 pm as the sun sets pretty early in late December and early January. At that time of the year, the snow monkeys are usually there all day but with animals, you never know. I would go earlier than later.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    December 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Hi Anthony,
    wow your post is really helpfull!!! i will visit snow monkey park on early january 2018 with my kids, they are 4 and 6 years old, i want to ask is the walking trail will be difficult for them? is it possible for me to bring stroller? is there any restaurant or snack shop at the snow monkey park? thank you

    • Reply
      Anthony
      December 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Teresa,

      The trail can be slippery in the winter, but if you walk slowly and carefully, I don’t think it would be a problem with kids. The trail was fairly flat except for some stairs near the entrance. As for a stroller, no, I wouldn’t recommend it and I am not even sure it is allowed.

      At the bus stop, I believe there was a restaurant or place to get food and drinks but I didn’t go inside. There was also a gift shop at the trailhead which I think had drinks for sale. Also, keep any food away from the monkeys, they will try to steal it from you.

  • Reply
    maria dinna paulino
    January 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Hello Anthony,

    This is really helpful. The Jigokudani Monkey Park has been on my bucket list for a number of years already. When i visit Japan again this March, I will surely go to Nagano and take lots of photographs of the snow monkeys. I am sure the One-Day Snow Monkey Park Pass will be of great help.

    Thank you again.

  • Reply
    arie
    January 10, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Hi Anthony,
    How easy is to get taxi in that area (at the bus stop). I would like to reserved my seat from Nagano to Tokyo. Based on my experience, our time management is awful – just need to be ready for the contingency plan to catch the train on time.
    BTW.. very good article and really helpful.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      January 26, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      Arie,
      Sorry for the late reply. I wish I had an answer for you about the taxis. Near the bus stop is Shigakogen Roman Museum. I would recommend you go inside the museum and ask the workers at the counter about a taxi. I’m sure they can help you out.

  • Reply
    Gino Narte
    January 19, 2018 at 10:39 am

    My wife, daughter and I visited the Monkey Park few weeks ago 12/30/2017. Fastest way to get there is to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano Station. When you arrived at Nagano Station take the stairs or escalator to the ground floor where the buses are located. Take the BUS number 3, no need for bus tickets you pay the driver before boarding the bus 1800 ($17.00) depends on current exchange rate. Make sure you get enough YEN before exiting the airport. Bus takes you to the park non-stop. Make sure you wear appropriate snow boots, roads are very slick. You can also rent boots at the store by the park around $3-4. 1.6 Km or a lil over 1 mile hike to the top where the Monkeys are. Go early before the crowd hits, it gets packed with tourists. We spent probably 3-4 hours up there but will come back someday and spend a little more time with these creatures.

    • Reply
      Anthony
      January 26, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Gino,
      Thanks for the great tips. Yes, you can purchase tickets on the bus but the Snow Monkey Pass can be more economical if you are traveling round trip from Nagano.

  • Reply
    Joy
    January 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Huge thanks for your post. It’s absolutely helpful in planning. I am visiting in May. Would you happen to know if the Snow Monkey Park is still open then or do they only operate in the winter?

    • Reply
      Anthony
      January 26, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Joy,
      Yes, the snow monkey park will be open in May but there will be no snow.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    January 24, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Anthony. wow! you seem to be very knowledgeable about the Nagano and the snow monkey area. I wonder if you can guide me to the best scenario for me. I am going to Nagano in mid April 2018. I plan to reach Nagano around 9:30 and tour Zenkoji temple. Then I would like to visit the snow monkeys. ( I have reservations for the night at Yuyado Sekiya ) Here is my problem. I am wondering if I should go to Yudanaka, have the staff of Yuyado Sekiya pick me up and then walk to the monkey park. OR should I go straight to the monkey park from Nagano and then just catch a taxi Yuyado Sekiya. Which way do you think is easiest and would give me more time at the snow monkey park? IF i were to go straight to the snow monkey park, how would I go? bus or train? The bus seems so much easier.. but is it running often in April? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      January 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Sharon,
      It seems that Yuyado Sekiya is only a 5 minute walk the from Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi bus stop. I would recommend taking the bus from Nagano Station to the bus stop, walk to Yuyado Sekiya, drop off your luggage, and continue walking to the snow monkey park.

  • Reply
    Katy
    February 9, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Hi Anthony, thank you so much for this info! I probably wouldn’t have managed to go without it. How long does the Nagaden bus from Nagano station to Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi take? Google maps doesn’t recognise it at all. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      February 13, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Katy,

      The bus took about an hour from Nagano station to Kanbayashi Onsen Guchi.

  • Reply
    Sunny
    February 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Anthony,

    Do you think the weather is too warm in Mid April to visit? I am wondering if it’s worth trekking to Nagano to see these monkeys when I can see the same ones in Kyoto? I know there are no hot springs in Kyoto but during April will the monkeys still be cold enough to want to go into the hot springs in Nagano?

    thanks!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      February 13, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Sunny,

      The park will be open but by mid-April, the snow should be gone. I have never visited other than the winter but I heard when the weather is too warm, the monkies might not use the hot spring. In April, the weather should still be cold enough for them but if you can see them in Kyoto, maybe that is the better option.

  • Reply
    Jo
    December 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Hello Anthony, thanks for your valuable information. It’s very useful to plan for our trip in mid-Feb. We are still debating if we should go to the monkey park. We live in California and don’t do cold weather very well. Does it snow a lot in Feb? What kinds of gears should we get? Is Uber available in Nagano? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Anthony
      December 13, 2018 at 5:22 am

      Jo,
      It snows a lot in February in Nagano, and yes it will be cold, but there is something special about visiting the snow monkey park when it is covered in snow. This is the time you want to visit. I am also from California and don’t handle cold weather too well, but I think it would be a mistake if you missed this experience. While you won’t need any special gear, just make sure your shoes or boots have good traction. I wore tennis shoes and I was fine, but the trail can get a little slippery in parts. Unfortunately, Uber is not available in Nagano.

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