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Stop At: Zenko-ji Temple, I-491 Motoyoshicho, Nagano 380-0851 Nagano Prefecture
As one of the oldest, largest, and most important Buddhist temples in Japan, Zenko-ji is the spiritual heart of Nagano. A registered National Treasure, the temple's near-1400 year history is full of legend and myth which your guide will help you unlock as they guide you around the temple precinct followed by time to explore for yourself (time-permitting).
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Stop At: MONZEN TERRACE ENYA, Japan, 〒380-0841 Nagano, 大門町Daimonchō−５７−２
Nagano is Japan's second largest producer of 'sake', meaning no trip to the region is complete without sampling some of the local breweries. Your guide will introduce to the complex and warm world of sake with a guided tasting and while there also treat you to a delicious lunch at one of Nagano's favorite restaurants.
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Stop At: Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, 6845 Heion, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401 Nagano Prefecture
Established in 1964, Nagano's world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs. With no barriers between you and the monkeys (don't worry, they are very calm) this is a unique opportunity to observe these curious creatures in close proximity as the walk about you, wrestle with each other, endlessly groom, and of course, soak in their favorite hot spring! Your guide will introduce you to everything that makes them so unique and famous while giving you plenty of time to explore for yourself.
Please note that estimated time at the monkey park includes walking in and out along the forest trail - 1.6km each way / 25 minutes each way in summer, slightly longer in winter. We endeavour to give our guests 1 hour in the park to observe the monkeys.
Duration: 2 hours
Confirmation will be received at time of booking.
This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking including to and from the monkey park along a 1.6km (1 mile), unsealed forest trail. Please sure your footwear is approriate and you are dressed accordingly for the season..
Guests are required to follow the Snow Monkey Park rules at all times. Guests are not permitted to touch, hold, feed or bathe with the monkeys at any time. There are no barriers separating the monkeys from visitors to the park. Please ensure you keep a minimum distance of 1 to 2 meters between yourself and the monkeys. Your guide will explain the rules prior to entering the park..
There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity..
Infants (0-5) are welcome to join the tour free of charge and as such, do not receive lunch. If food is required, please order and pay directly at the restaurant..
This tour includes lunch at Monzen Terrace Enya. On rare occasions it may not be possible to use this restaurant in which case we would switch to another, comparable location..
The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station..
Departure Tokyo Station – Arrival Nagano Station: Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) * Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka.
Near public transportation.
Infant seats available.
Departure Nagano Station – Arrival Tokyo Station Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka.
This tour is scheduled to conclude at JR Nagano Station by 17:30. However, due to weather and road conditions in winter we cannot guarantee the end time. For guests booking shinkansen tickets to travel to Tokyo after the tour in winter, we ask that you do not book any service earlier than the 17:55 Kagayaki (reservation only) or our recommendation of the 18:22 Hakutaka. For guests booking onward tickets to other destinations we also recommend doing so for times of 18:00 or later..
This tour does not include bullet train/shinkansen tickets. For guests traveling to Nagano from Tokyo, Kanazawa or other hubs, please check the train schedule and pricing in advance of the day of your tour to avoid unexpected delays and costs..
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level.
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers.
Face masks required for guides in public areas.
Social distancing enforced throughout experience.
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas.
Gear/equipment sanitized between use.
Guides required to regularly wash hands.
Regular temperature checks for staff.
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival.
Any vehicles operated by Snow Monkey Resorts, will include a plastic partition in the vehicle that will totally separate the driver from the passengers. The driver will also wear a mask and gloves.
An excellent day with great company! The snow monkeys were a treat. The temple tour was very comprehensive and the sake tasting plus lunch were very good.
that was a really fun day for me. lunch was yummy. the temple visit is really interesting. The tour guides were extremely helpful and excited to take us around
I had an amazing time on this tour. The temple was especially beautiful, the monkeys were as full of monkey-ness as anyone could hope, and the guides added so much depth to the experience, while still giving plenty of space to explore on our own (a trickier balance to achieve than it might seem). Really thoughtfully arranged.
We had an incredible time on this full day tour.
Our guide was nice, informative, and really enjoyable to spend the day with. The temple visit was interesting and beautiful, and the time we were able to spend with the monkeys was a once in a lifetime experience. It was December which meant the monkeys were out in huge numbers, but not many were bathing. Would love to come back in deep winter to see them truly in snow.
We even got to stop in to taste local fruit and buy some snacks for the road.
Absolutely would recommend this tour.
Even though it was off season, this was a great tour. There was only 2 of us and we had the guide to ourselves for the day. He was a very nice Australian fella who has lived there for years and has a great knowledge and enthusiasm for the area. The temple tour, sake tasting and lunch we had at the start were very enjoyable but the highlight was definitely the monkeys who we were lucky enough to see for a great length of time even though it was off season. Our guide had a great knowledge of the monkeys and was able to identify individuals, their different personalities and how they affect the group's behaviour. The guide also had many suggestions for what we could do for the rest of our time in the area. All in as all this was a great tour with a great guide and we would highly recommend it!
Our tour guide was fantastic! She able to gave us a deeper understanding of what we were experiencing! Although we were told
No monkeys many times, 7 male monkeys came down to eat. We were a couple feet from them. Wow. Monkeys made the experience!
Great tour guide, one of the best from our trip. She was helpful, informative, and willing to take photos. The monkeys were all over, so don't worry about not seeing any (even during the summer or off season). It was a great experience that definitely made our Japan trip more enjoyable. Highly recommended. Even the walk/train ride there was fun.
We did go when it was warm outside. We might want to try again when it's colder to get some more iconic pictures of the snow. The monkeys did go for a swim despite the heat, plus we got to see a lot of baby monkeys around this time of year.
Zenko-Ji is a superb example of a Buddhist temple and the sake tasting was informative and fun. The highlight of the trip was the Snow Monkey Park.
I was slightly concerned that there were warnings that the monkeys may not make an appearance in Autumn. Fear not! There was one sitting on the entrance building and the whole troup of around 150-160 monkeys were around the river and the hot spring. Lots of babies as well - brilliant!
And our guide Mai was great - lots of good information and superb English!
Our tour guide Peter made sure this would be a tour to remember for the best of reasons. From beginning to end it was obvious that customer experience was the goal.
Clear concise arrival/meeting/departure information. Made for a stress less arrival from Tokyo. Good decision to do temple in the cool of morning. We were a small group and it was obvious Peter had great local and cultural knowledge as we asked a lot of questions. Good amount of free time. Temple was beautiful, bonus got a good fortune. Sake tasting with local no pressure to buy, devine lunch at local restaurant. Then in to see the monkeys a leisurely stroll with a few steps through the forest was pleasant even in the light rain. Peter has made it clear that they are wild animals and they may not be there but they were much to our delight. We have no hesitation in recommending this tour
Peta and Phil
I can't really say enough good about this day. Asuka was a wonderfully pleasant guide for the day. The monkeys were incredibly cool. The Nihonshu was tasty! Even though the forecast was for mostly cloudy, the morning was blue sky and HOT, so we worked up a good sweat walking to and around Zenko-ji. Next was Nihonshu tasting and lunch. Then you go on a decent length of a train ride + mini-bus up to the Snow Monkeys. You do have to walk for another 20ish minutes along both paved and non-paved incline, but it was very easy and I had some great conversation with the guide on the way.
Then the monkeys! When you get into the main area, they are everywhere! They walk amongst you, though you cannot touch them. There were baby monkeys with their mommas. There were kid monkeys playing with each other. There were all kinds of other monkeys doing monkey things. We stayed for about an hour or so and I enjoyed every minute of it. The afternoon we went was rainy, so there were very few people there...maybe 6-8 other humans. The guide said it is usually much more crowded.
Couldn't recommend this activity enough. Even with the Shinkansen day trip from Tokyo, it was well worth it. At the end of the day, grab some sushi from the local market at the train station and settle in for the ride back to Tokyo without much of a care except remembering your experience with the monkeys!
Very well organized tour with ample time at each location . Guide was very knowlegable and snow monkeys were lovely
The snow monkeys were worth the trip alone but the temple and or extremely knowledgeable guide a truly amazing tour. I don't think we could thank our guide enough for the invaluable information about our tour and things to do and see for the remainder of our stay in Japan.
The tour was excellent and the tour guide, Peter, was outstanding. He not only provided a great tour experience for the points on the tour but he provided other cultural insights into Japan. We even had an unscheduled stop at a local produce market. This was the highlight of my trip to Nagano.
We really enjoyed our Tour. We got picked up in a bus. Had a small group of 9 guest. We got to see Monkeys up close and lots of them. We had a great lunch. (drink, salad, rice bowl with your choice of protein, Ramen soup and a dessert) all very good at a local spot. We had a great guide. (Shinji) He was great full of info, great with time, gave everyone time on there own. We even made a quick extra stop at an Apple Orchard to sample the great Apples Nagano produces. Then to the Temple: very cool and loved the way he explained all the different belief systems and it really helped you understand and it was nice if you wanted to try on your own. At this temple there is also an room you can go to for an enlighten experience. We recommend doing this. Its only 500yen and its only a 5min thing. But very important you cant be scared of the dark. So its a tunnel that is in side the temple. You will have to take off your shoes. (they give you a bag to put them in.) Now you go down into the tunnel. At first you can see and you go one person at a time. (no lights or cell phones allowed inside. you must walk threw the tunnel in complete darkness. They tell you to place your hand on the wall as you walk threw. Once it got completely dark I got a little nervous but I talked myself into completing my task. And I did and once you get to the end and you can see the light again. Wow crazy how all your worries are really just lifted from you. It was a very very cool experience that I think you should really do. (remember this is optional once you get there. Then we got free time to walk around the shops. Then after we went to the Sake tasting that we walked to, it was very close by. They had a large selection and you had a chance to try everything and the explanations were great. Again due to our guide he was great! Then after you can buy some sake and they have different sizes as well. very nice presentation. Then after a full day we got dropped off where we started. We enjoyed it all and we had a great guide maybe you can request him cause he really made the trip. :) Thank you an hope this helped you decide on your activity for the day
This tour was the highlight of our trip. Louki our guide was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Although it was early April when we were there, the snow monkeys were around to see. They were lovely and fun to watch. The visit to the Zenko-ji Temple was good and it was impressive to see. The sake tasting was great and we learnt a lot about sake whilst we were there. Overall it was an excellent experience and we would recommend doing this tour.
We had a limited time in Japan, but seeing the snow monkeys was something we wanted to make time for. It made for a long day since we came from Tokyo, but we're so glad we went! We loved being outside we went in Feb and had fleece-lined pants, winter coats, snow boots, and hand-warmer packets, which was a nice change of pace from Tokyo. We researched a number of similar tours, but chose this one because visiting the monkeys were scheduled in the morning. The morning definitely had fewer people then compared to when we left. The baby macaques were adorable! The lunch was delicious. We stopped by a fruit market/grocery store and were able to buy a number of treats to take back for our families. The Zenko-ji Temple complex was beautiful. We loved our guide, Peter, he was very informative throughout the tour but not pushy. This tour was fantastic and we highly recommend it. And our friends and family love the pictures!
First we went to see the show monkey, and have shoes that not slip on ice or dirty ice. The monkey did not take a bath when I was there, but get some good pictures anyway. After that lunch at a ryokan that tastes very good., Then take bus and train to Nagano where we visited a famous Buddhist temple where our guide telling us many interesting things. And don't forget to go down in the labyrinth, and trying find the door to enlightenment. After that probably with a little tired feet it's time to go to the last event, sake tasting, there are both alcohol and non alcoholic, so everyone can taste.
Very good day. It was certainly worth it to see the snow monkeys and visit the Temple. I thought the temple visit was a throw-in but ended up being more than I expected. If you go in the winter you only Need to visit one days as the monkeys are always there at that time because of the temperatue of the hot springs.
This tour was an easy day trip from Tokyo and a fantastic introduction to the Nagano area! The sites were fun, interesting, and inspiring, the multi-course lunch was delicious, and we were entertained all the while by our knowledgeable and charismatic guide, Fred. Highly recommend!
This was a great tour. Plenty of time to see everything. The included lunch was very nice also. Dress warmly and be prepared to walk, although it is a lovely walk through the forest on a very nice trail.
A great day out: well organised, entertaining and I learnt a lot! Our Guide was briliant - really knowledgeable and always happy to answer our questions. The snow monkey park was amazing, lunch delicious and the sake some of the best I have tasted. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
This tour was amazing!
Fun tour! We have an excellent in Peter taking care of us! The monkeys were so cute! Lunch was delicious! The visits to the shrine and the sake tour were great too! Overall japan st a greatly organized tour! Thumbs up!
This was a fantastic day. The walk to the snow monkeys is a beautiful, flat 1.6 kms and well worth it. Seeing the snow monkeys up close was amazing. Sake tasting in the afternoon was fun, a really great experience. Our guide Peter, was excellent, as was the other guide Luca. Instructions for the bullet train and where to meet them, was super easy and very detailed for you to plan times of the train.
Peter and Luca, made the tour fun and really engaged with all of the group, throughout the entire day. They knew their history, and customs and you can tell they really love what they do. Peter and Luca are exceptional and made this tour far superior than the other leading tour group in Japan which we tried and hated. Lunch was excellent too.
This was an amazing tour, especially our tour guide Peter. Peter is an engaging tour guide and he made sure we had an entertaining and safe tour. The view going up to see the snow monkey was breathtaking and it was amazing how the snow monkeys continue their activities despite human presence. The lunch served in authentic Japanese traditional house enhance the Japanese cuisine served.
The temple tour was interesting and informative with Peter providing nice tidbits to enhance the tour. Tour was nicely capped off with sake and Japanese traditional condiments.
Highly recommend for those who enjoy nature and want a great guide to enhance the tour.
We had a very enjoyable time. Transport and meal were excellent and the guide extremely knowledgeable.
This tour was the best tour we did in Japan. Easy train connection from Tokyo to Nagano and our guide was fantastic.
Snow Monkeys was awesome! Fantastic Japanese lunch in a beautiful old Japanese building, our guide was very knowledgeable
about the Zenko-ji Temple and some Sake tasting to top it off. Perfect tour to do in Japan.
Fantastic day out. Plenty of monkeys including one who did a massive bellyflop into the water. Sake tasting was delicious and Zenko temple was beautiful.
The highlight of our day was Peter, our tour guide. Informative, fun and all round good bloke :
Our tour guide Louki made our day complete, we met Louki at Nagano station and we travelled together to see the Snow Monkeys, the train trip was really great, the countryside was in autumn colours and a light flurry of snow was falling, we were met by a driver and he took us up to the park, the walk in is beautiful, there's a few steps to start with but after that it's a lovely walk through the forest, very peaceful the day we went, not many people walking through, when you get to the park it's amazing, the Snow Monkeys are everywhere, we had plenty of time to enjoy these amazing animals, take loads of photos, watch them in the water and sitting on the rocks and in the forest, totally amazing, from there we walked back in a light snow flurry, stunning, and then off to have an amazing lunch, the food was so delicious, we then went back to Nagano and then went to Zenko-ji Temple, what a fascinating Temple, Louki's knowledge was fantastic, we had such an amazing day with her, when we left to travel back to Tokyo it was like leaving a friend, what a fantastic day
Well worth it. Great Tour!