Zenko-ji Temple

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

2. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Zenko-ji Temple

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What people are saying about Zenko-ji Temple

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 55 reviews

Great day. Host made you welcome. Temple street has old world charm in Nagano. Lunch delicious. Walk to monkeys a bit hard at first, uphill but levels off with beautiful scenery. Monkeys are something to see. Babies gorgeous with mums.

The whole day was fantastic, constant but not rushed. Our guide was brilliant and ensured that we all felted involved, answering our questions and find out the answers if unsure. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

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!

well organized tour, knowledgeable guide, enough time at each tour attraction and not felt rushed at all! Delicious food too!

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