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Our most recommended Yamanochi Tours

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.

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

2. 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.

From Tokyo: Snow Monkey 1 Day Tour with Beef Sukiyaki Lunch

3. From Tokyo: Snow Monkey 1 Day Tour with Beef Sukiyaki Lunch

Explore the Nagano Prefecture on a tour of the Snow Monkey Park with pickup and drop-off in Tokyo. See the snow monkeys bathing in a natural spring, enjoy lunch at a local Japanese restaurant. Take the coach from central Tokyo to arrive in the Nagano Prefecture in time for lunch. Savor a delicious meal of Japanese food, featuring a beef sukiyaki dish. After lunch, head to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Here, admire the Japanese Macaques up close as they bathe in hot thermal springs. The tour will finish with drop-off back in central Tokyo.

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

4. 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. 

Private roundtrip transport: to/from Snow Monkey Park

5. Private roundtrip transport: to/from Snow Monkey Park

Skip the stress of public transport and enjoy private roundtrip to the Snow Monkey Park in an air-conditioned car from your preferred pick up location i.e. your accommodation in Nagano City or Nagano Station. With vehicles suitable for single travelers, couples and families to groups of up to 15 people, we can transport you to and from the monkey park including oversized luggage such as ski, snowboards and other outdoor gear. After a visit to the world famous Snow Monkeys, hop back on the bus and you driver will transfer you back to Nagano, where you have the option to be dropped off at your accommodation or Nagano Station

Private Snow Monkey Tour: From Nagano City / Ski Resorts

6. Private Snow Monkey Tour: From Nagano City / Ski Resorts

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! Once your tour begins, you will board our private tour vehicle and begin your journey to the Snow Monkey Park. 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! Your guide will then accompany back along the trail and you will enjoy a traditional 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. 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. 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!

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What people are saying about Yamanochi

I’m not sure who enjoyed the snow play more our grandkids, our adult kids or us! Then a tasty lunch and an enchanting walk through the snow laden forest to see the snow monkeys enjoying an onsen. All this combined with an informative, friendly, helpful guide made for a fantastic day!!

I'd do this tour again in a heartbeat. The tour of the temple was great, as was learning about the history of the area. The sake tasting was interesting and lunch was quite nice.

A very memorable trip.. December is good timing to visit!! would recommend everybody to join..

The guide was fantastic. Good humoured and knowledgeable!