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Nagano Station

Nagano Station: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

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What people are saying about Nagano Station

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 75 reviews

Very nice hospitable guide by the name of Marie. Detailed & patient in her explanation. Excellent smooth drive by the gentleman driving the mini bus. 1st stop was the nice 1hr+ drive to Shiga Kogen for snow activities. They have a locked room at the resort where you can keep your stuff, this room also has a full range of winter apparels in all sizes, water proof tops & bottoms, boots, gloves, goggles. The area for snow activity was a short walk outside the building, well equip to keep you occupied for 2hrs. Good quality food, given a coupon to exchange,, quite a good selection, we had the pork katsu curry, soft drinks were free flow. You can also purchase additional items via coupon dispensing machine. After lunch the drive was to see the snow monkeys, The walk is 3.2km for the round trip. Beautiful walk, just beware of the steps at the start of the walk, super slippery on an icy day. Especially at the top of the steps, nothing to hold, watch your steps. Excellent trip!!

Worth visiting the monkey resort but disappointed we didn't manage to experience the snow fun due to bad weather. Our guide is very thoughtful and flexible, he had brought us to shigakogen up the mountain for the fabulous view. Thank you get your guide for giving me such a great time!!

We had a lovely time in Nagano. The monkeys were just the cherry on top, visiting the shrine, sake brewery and the fabulous lunch surpasses our expectations.

Awesome tour. The tour was quite informative and I would Totally recommend this tour to my friends.

Very friendly, knowledgeable guide that made it a very special experience for everyone.