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Itinerary

Running throughout the year, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery and fun.

Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) to transport you to the Snow Monkey Park where you will spend time with the world-famous monkeys. Your guide will take you along the forest trail leading to the park and into Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley” – home of the snow monkeys. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity.

Your visit to the snow monkeys is followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant, where your guide will assist you in ordering (with vegetarian options available) and is always happy to discuss Nagano’s renowned food culture.

After lunch, the tour heads to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. Registered as National Treasure, it is a place of true historic importance and with all the legends and myths of a near 1400-year old complex! You will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and restaurants by yourself.

You then met up with your guide and the tour concludes with sake tasting nearby the temple. Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to this region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Mastering sake takes a life time of dedication. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s renowned and award-winning sake.

Warmed by the tasting, your guide will then accompany you back to JR Nagano Station where the tour concludes at approximately 17:30.


Tour Itinerary:
09:35: Meet up at JR Nagano Station under the Information Board directly opposite of the Shinkansen ticket gates.
10:45: Arrive at the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park.
11:30: Arrival at the Snow Monkey Park. Enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives.
13:00: Have lunch at a restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park.
13:45: Leave the lunch restaurant and head to Zenko-ji Temple.
15:00: Arrival at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.
16:30: Enjoy Japanese sake tasting led by your guide, nearby the temple.
17:00  End sake tasting and head back toward the station.
17:30  Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

Locations visited
Zenko-ji Temple
Snow Monkey Resorts Info & Gift Shop
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Overview
See two of the top attractions near Nagano on this 8-hour excursion, including a visit to the area’s famous snow monkeys and a stop at the serene Zenko-ji temple. Travel along a beautiful forest trail to the home of the snow monkeys of Jigokudani, a group of local macaques known for their willingness to live in the snow and bathe in the local hot spring. Then, enjoy a break for a tasty lunch before continuing to the tranquil grounds of Zenko-ji, a lovely religious site known for its historic Buddhist statue. Finally, indulge in a sake tasting nearby, for a taste of Nagano.
Highlights
  • Follow a beautiful forest trail to the home of the area's world-famous snow monkeys
  • Explore the tranquil grounds and historic Buddhist statue at Zenko-ji
  • Get a taste of tradition with a local Sake tasting
  • Enjoy a break for an included lunch
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
Enjoyable outing with the snow monkeys

We were staying in Nagano, and were also the only ones on the tour, our guide was Shinji. He spoke excellent English and answered all our questions during the day. We arrived at the park in time for the noon feeding, he explained the history...More

Thank lmcwyc
Reviewed 13 August 2018 via mobile
Amazing tour with an even better guide!!

I can’t begin to say enough about our very experienced guide, Peter. He thoroughly explained everything and anything we wanted to know about the temple and park. Our lunch near the train station was very good, the best rice bowl I’ve eaten in Japan. We...More

1  Thank Justin Z
Reviewed 19 July 2018
Excellent tour, informative and friendly guide, great sights

We have a very enjoyable day out with our guide Shinji. We were the only family who had booked that day, so we had the guide to ourselves. He spoke excellent English, having studied for his degree in the USA: Shinji met us at Nagano...More

2  Thank Limehousebob
Reviewed 17 July 2018
Perfect Day Tour

Peter was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Really good insight you would not get if you visited these attractions yourself. Highly recommended

1  Thank sm90210
Reviewed 29 May 2018
Worth every penny!!

We had a couple of open days in our schedule so decided to check out the snow monkeys...absolutely no regrets!! Peter was our guide and had everything very well-organised. We got lucky with our timing as May is a good time to visit the monkeys...More

1  Thank randy_mullock
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jamesjulies
23 July 2018|
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Response from Limehousebob | Reviewed this property |
Hello James I just took a look at the map. Your journey from Tokyo takes about 2.5 hours, using the Shinkansen bullet train. It would make for a long day, but could work if you left Shibuya at 6.30am. Your destination... More
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