Things to do in
Nagano Prefecture

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Our most recommended things to do in Nagano Prefecture

Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

1. Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

A great tour for all seasons, this is a 1-day guided tour of the most famous attractions of Nagano City and Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley”, home of the Snow Monkeys. Take a scenic route to see the cutest monkeys in the world, then experience the tranquility of Zenkoji Temple and lively Nakamise shopping street. For guests traveling from Hakuba, from December through March, your journey can begin with a shuttle from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal at 7:55 AM; otherwise, meet your guide at Nagano Station at 9:35 AM (please be at your chosen pickup point in advance of the meetup time as the tour needs to depart on-time). Famous for being the temple to hold the first Buddhist statue in Japan. Zenkoji Temple has a special energy and welcomes people of all faiths and religions. The temple grounds are beautiful and tranquil; there are hidden gems to explore, such as the dark tunnel running under the temple, said to be where you can gain enlightenment by finding the “Key To Paradise”. After lunch, return to Nagano Station again by public transport and take local bus from there to the Snow Monkeys. World-famous for their rare habit of soaking in the hot spring and living in the snow, these amazing macaques will let you get really close to them for some great photo opportunities and an unforgettable experience. After saying goodbye to the snow monkeys, stroll back along the tranquil forest trail to a delicious lunch at the restaurant near the trail exit. After seeing the Snow Monkeys, head to the local Japanese sake brewery to try various types of sake maybe even find a nice souvenir for yourself.

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1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

2. 1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

Enjoy a day out playing on the slopes of Shiga Kogen. Sample delicious Japanese or Western food for lunch and capture unforgettable pictures of the adorable snow monkeys of Jigokudani. Meet your guide at Nagano or Yudanaka station. Board the tour bus and head straight to the mountains of Shiga Kogen, Japan and Asia's largest and highest ski resort. Upon arrival, spend 1.5 hours enjoying the snow. Whizz down the mountain on a snowscoot, snowdrive, sled, or tube. After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at a restaurant adjoining the ski slopes. Choose from a daily menu of traditional Japanese fare and Western favorites. After lunch, board the tour vehicle for the short journey out of the mountains and onto the Snow Monkey Park. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, the monkeys of Jigokudani have achieved global fame and observing them going about their monkey business is a real treat.  Finally, return to the station after a snow-filled adventure that promises to leave a lasting impression. 

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Welcome to Nagano: Private Tour with a Local

3. Welcome to Nagano: Private Tour with a Local

Get an exclusive welcome to Nagano on a private tour with a local guide. Transform your way of traveling to make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see.  Follow your friendly local as they share their passion for the place they live. Learn all the tricks to make the most of the city and get tips on the best things to see. Meet in the neighborhood where you are staying to get familiar with the best places to eat and buy groceries. Hear about the easiest ways to get around, and the top things to do. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable and confident navigating the city on your own, secure in the knowledge that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay!

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Nagano Guided Day Tour: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji, Obuse

4. Nagano Guided Day Tour: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji, Obuse

Explore Nagano City on a full day guided tour. Enjoy scenic views, taste local food, and marvel at the snow monkeys bathing in the Shibu Onsen hot springs. Discover local art and drink Sake in Obuse Town, and find fortune at the clandestine and sacred Zenko-ji Temple. Get picked up by the guide at your hotel or local train station and marvel at the beautiful landscape and scenic views of the Chikuma River while driving to the Kigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Taste the culture by learning to eat miso soup the way the locals do, then find your inner center while leisurely walking through the forest before sipping tea and experiencing the Snow Monkeys. Enjoy exploring Obuse Town, home of Japan's most famous artist and creator of "Great Wave," Hokusai Katsushika. Eat lunch in the area before walking around to explore the shops and try sake tasting. Discover the famous Zenkoji Temple that houses the first Buddha statue ever brought to Japan. Forbidden from any soul's view, soak in the sacred knowledge and learn to pray for good fortune. Do as the Snow Monkeys do and soak in a natural Japanese hot spring at the end of an enriching day.

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Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

5. Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

This tour takes you from JR Nagano Station to the world-famous Jigokudani snow monkeys and to some of the most beloved cherry blossom viewing spots in Nagano. Seeing the blooming cherry blossoms (called hanami in Japanese) is one of the most Japanese things one can do whilst being in the land of the rising sun. Located in a chilly, mountainous region, northern Nagano’s blossoms start blooming later than those in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto. Every year, the blossoms normally come into bloom from the middle of April. Nagano is not as famous as an aforementioned city but has many lovely places where you can see the brightly colored flowers. If you wish to get off the beaten track and see the wild monkeys and cherry blossoms on the same day, this tour is perfect for you. First, you will be taken to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where you can observe the wild Japanese macaques at an incredibly close distance. April is generally the month when newborn babies arrive to the Jigokudani monkey troop. Usually there are 20 to 30 babies born every spring, and it’s endearing to see the newborns taking their first step and climb. After being filled by a Japanese lunch, the tour will take you to the hanami spots where cherry blossoms can be seen. The spots are selected depending on the degree of bloom of the blossoms on the tour date. Each spot has different types of cherry blossoms with overall more than 500 to 1000 sakura trees. Experience the yearly tradition to welcome spring in full. After enjoying the cherry blossoms, you will be taken to the train that takes you back to JR Nagano Station. The tour is scheduled to conclude at JR Nagano Station by 6:30 PM. Don’t miss this special opportunity to witness Japan’s beautiful spring.

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Osaka: Japan Pocket WiFi Router Kansai Airport Pickup

6. Osaka: Japan Pocket WiFi Router Kansai Airport Pickup

Access 4G LTE WiFi across Japan with this pocket router that connects to the Softbank Network. Never get lost in Japan again, with Unlimited WiFi data, which enables you to use Map Apps, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, watch Youtube videos and even Netflix. Pick-up the WiFi router at the Kansai International Airport, located in Osaka. Just visit the Kansai International Airport arrival lobby 1F between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM to pick up your device and start using the internet. The devices can be returned at most major airports in Japan, or via delivery from any hotel, Family Mart, or Lawson convenience stores.

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Shinjuku Pickup: Japan Pocket WiFi Router 4G LTE Unlimited

7. Shinjuku Pickup: Japan Pocket WiFi Router 4G LTE Unlimited

Access 4G LTE WiFi across Japan with this pocket router that connects to the Softbank Network. Never get lost in Japan again, with Unlimited WiFi data, which enables you to use Map Apps, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, watch Youtube videos and even Netflix. Pick-up the WiFi router at the Shinjuku Counter, which is located a 2 min walk away from the Higashi Shinjuku station. Same day pick-up available. The business hours at 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, on weekdays only. When you are finished, the devices can be returned at most major airports in Japan, or via delivery from any hotel, Family Mart, or Lawson convenience stores.

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From Nagano: Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route

8. From Nagano: Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route

Meet your guide at JR Nagano Station and board the tour bus to begin your journey to the fabled Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. Arriving at Ogisawa Station around 10:15, prepare for your ascent before boarding the Kanden Tunnel trolley bus at 11:00, the first of a variety of mountain transports you will utilize to reach the summit. Your first stop is the Kurobe Dam. Constructed between 1956 and 1963, this immense structure required the labor of up to 10 million people and is Japan's highest dam. A source of national pride and emblematic of man's attempts to conquer nature, enjoy some time to admire the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains before starting the next leg of your journey toward the summit. Next, head to the Tateyama Ropeway. Spanning 1700 meters, you will be transported upward to the final stop of Daikanbo, before taking the final trolley bus to Murodo. At 2450 meters, this is Japan's highest station – an isolated outpost in an inhospitable, dramatic landscape. Stroll through the iconic snow corridor which rises up 20 meters above you. Enjoy 1.5 to 2 hours of free time to stroll around the area, with enough time to visit the museums before beginning the journey back to Nagano.

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Frequently asked questions about Nagano Prefecture

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What people are saying about Nagano Prefecture

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 130 reviews

Could not be happier! The tour was perfectly paced, the things included were terrific, the food was wonderful, the guides were exceptional, friendly and professional and the monkeys were AMAZING! So happy! Thanks!

Most amazing guide, Mai. Excellent tour. lunch was amazing. I recommend the beef. Sake tasting was excellent for beginners

Perfect way to stay connected. Very easy and conveniant. If the could deliver to the hotel it would be perfect!

It Was 1 of the Most Important things We Did to make Our Trip the Best Ever!!!

Recommended, you can have Internet to guide you where you want to go.