1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour


Motoyoshicho-491

142.44 USD

1 - 15

8 hrs


in Motoyoshicho-491
From $142.44 USD
per person

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Tour Information


Overview
  • Take in some of the highlights of Nagano with this engaging tour starting with a visit to Zenko-ji Temple – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan - followed by sake tasting and lunch at a nearby restaurant. It's then time to head to the Snow Monkey Park and its world-famous hot spring-bathing monkeys! All led by a locally-based English-speaking guide, this tour is a great way to see the best that Nagano has to offer and get up close and personal with its most famous furry residents!

Location
  • Around:
    • Motoyoshicho-491
    • 6845 Oaza Heion
    • Nagano, Japan
  • Pickup: 1: Nagano Station, Japan, 〒380-0921 長野県長野市大字栗田59
    2: Hakuba Tokyu Hotel, 4688 Hokujō, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan
    3: Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal / Happo Information Center, Japan, 〒399-9301 Nagano, Kitaazumi District, Hakuba, Hokujō, 大字北城八方5734-1
    4: Hakuba Base Camp, 3020-121 Hokujō, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan

Categories
  • Artsy Historical & Heritage Tours
  • Trip icon Day Trips
  • Trip icon Rail Tours
  • Food Sake Tasting and Brewery Tours
  • Landmarks category Full-day Tours
  • Landmarks category Bus & Minivan Tours

Time of Tour
  • Departure at:
  • Duration: 8 hrs

Additional
  • Price per person: $142.44
  • Size: 1 - 15 people
  • Discount: 0%
  • Languages:

Inclusion
  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions.
    Lunch (vegetarian and vegan options available, please try to let us know in advance).
    Sake tasting.
    English-speaking guide.
    Entry/Admission - Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Exclusion
  • Shinkansen/bullet train tickets.
    Entry to paid attractions at Zenko-ji.
    Additional food, snacks and drinks

Cancellation
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience

1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

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 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 favourite 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

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Additional Information

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.
Not wheelchair accessible.
Stroller accessible.
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.

Reviews

4.9 stars, based on 255 reviews
brandtgreg
brandtgreg
We went on this tour last weekend and had a great time. Peter was our guide and he was extremely well organized and knowledgeable. We enjoyed spending the day with him as he shared facts about the temple and the monkeys at the park. We met at Nagano Station and proceeded to walk to the temple. It was a nice walk and we had beautiful weather. The temple was amazing and we spent a good amount of time there. After we left we did a brief sake and miso soup tasting. Everything was very good and we made a purchase. After that we proceeded to the train station to head to monkey park. The train ride was approximately 40 minutes and a driver was at the station to bring us the rest of the way to the park. The park was beautiful and there were monkeys everywhere. We had plenty of time there and then we stopped at the cafe for a drink and snack before boarding the train back to Nagano Station. It was really a great day! I would highly recommend this tour company and Peter.
26/03/2021
Almiro C
Almiro C
Simply put, our tour was an amazing experience. Our terrific guide, Peter, was a friendly, informed fountain of knowledge. He ensured that we were well looked after the whole day, consistently letting us know all about local history, culture and traditions. We came away in awe of what we had seen and thoroughly impressed by the while experience. The tour was a seamless transition, whereby all of the logistics were taken care of in a professional and timely manner. The hardest decision of the day was which lunch menu to try and sake to taste which, a real testament to how great this tour is. I highly recommend this tour for everyone who visits Nagano.
07/03/2021
Genevieve
Genevieve

There was only five of us in the group so it felt more casual and relaxed than it would have in a bigger group. Our guide, Pete, was an excellent guide. He was knowledgeable and knew interesting facts about the temple, the customs, and the history. He was also very approachable and flexible during the tour. We didn't feel rushed and it was very enjoyable. The temple was very interesting and the fall colors were beautiful. There were many things to do and see at the temple so don't worry about being bored. The sake tasting was great and one of the employees explained things about the sake and miso in english. The lunch portion of the tour wasn't that remarkable but the food was good and the service was nice. The restaurant was also beautiful and clean. You only get two options: vegetarian or chicken. Dessert is included in the lunch as well. The snow monkey park was the best part of the tour (not by much). Walking to the park was easy and took about 20 minutes. The walk itself was nice and relaxing. The park was beautiful and picturesque. We lucked out that day and the park was full of snow monkeys. There were so many I wasn't sure where to look. You can get so close to the monkeys and they run around your feet unafraid. Don't be afraid to sign up even if it is raining. From my understanding the rain makes it more likely the monkeys will go down and get in the onsen. They didn't go in the onsen that day but that was hardly a detriment. The monkeys were so cute and interesting to watch. I definitely recommend this tour if you're visiting Nagano specially in the fall or winter time. You will get your money's worth.

19/02/2021
T4797XZchristophers
T4797XZchristophers
Will do it again next year. the tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the land marks. Enjoyed my time.
24/12/2020
LANDROLLIN_EWO
LANDROLLIN_EWO
The explanation for the temple and sake your was something that I'll be able to take with me. The monkey park was by far the highlight of the trip and glad to have seen.
23/12/2020
TravelKidsFor4
TravelKidsFor4
FANTASTIC tour and guide. We had a wonderful time. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to visit these places. It exceeded our expectations. Our guide was professional, on time and just lovely to be around. Wonderful job! We also brought our 4 small children and they took wonderful care of them.
29/11/2020
jaomeiwa
jaomeiwa
I lucked out with my booking timing and ended up getting a private tour with Peter as my guide. The inspiration for my trip was to see the Nagano countryside, stay at a traditional ryokan, and see the snow monkeys; however, I learned so much more about Japanese culture from chatting with Peter as we started the trip at Zenkoji. What a spiritually moving place! Nagano City’s energy comes from the temple which is the heart and soul of that area. I created my own itinerary and an extended stay in Shiba Onsen and Yamanouchi, but I ended up traveling back to Nagano City to see more. This trip has made me more confident in my (limited) Japanese speaking ability, understanding the Japanese train system, and I will come back again for some snowboarding! Snow Monkey Resorts organizes tours well and schedules meaning events in their offerings. They have my trust and confidence for future excursions within Japan.
27/11/2020
Genevieve_D
Genevieve_D
There was only five of us in the group so it felt more casual and relaxed than it would have in a bigger group. Our guide, Pete, was an excellent guide. He was knowledgeable and knew interesting facts about the temple, the customs, and the history. He was also very approachable and flexible during the tour. We didn't feel rushed and it was very enjoyable. The temple was very interesting and the fall colors were beautiful. There were many things to do and see at the temple so don't worry about being bored. The sake tasting was great and one of the employees explained things about the sake and miso in english. The lunch portion of the tour wasn't that remarkable but the food was good and the service was nice. The restaurant was also beautiful and clean. You only get two options: vegetarian or chicken. Dessert is included in the lunch as well. The snow monkey park was the best part of the tour (not by much). Walking to the park was easy and took about 20 minutes. The walk itself was nice and relaxing. The park was beautiful and picturesque. We lucked out that day and the park was full of snow monkeys. There were so many I wasn't sure where to look. You can get so close to the monkeys and they run around your feet unafraid. Don't be afraid to sign up even if it is raining. From my understanding the rain makes it more likely the monkeys will go down and get in the onsen. They didn't go in the onsen that day but that was hardly a detriment. The monkeys were so cute and interesting to watch. I definitely recommend this tour if you're visiting Nagano specially in the fall or winter time. You will get your money's worth.
10/11/2020
alberthM2807CP
alberthM2807CP
Peter, the guide, was very knowledge about the area. As well as extremely friendly. Highly recommend.
10/11/2020
Mikachu275
Mikachu275
Our host was in training however she did an amazing job. The hosts were knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely would recommend this to friends and family who decide to visit Nagano.
06/04/2020
MarinaD7
MarinaD7
This was a great tour! Very nice and knowledgeable guide, great itinerary, nice pace. We loved sake tasting, lunch was delicious, tour of the shrine was very informative, but most of all we enjoyed the snow monkey park!
04/04/2020
F4880AW_
F4880AW_
We joined a snow monkey tour. It was very exciting tour with a knowledgeable English speaker’s guide. One day trip to Nagano from Tokyo is a good opportunity to spend a relaxing holiday. We can enjoy a tour including Some of the Must to see places in Nagano and a good lunch. Especially, we can learn about travel spots and also the latest local information. It was a little pity that there were only two perticipants, but we do appreciate that a tour company had accepted us. I would like to join another tour in the future, if I have a chance!! Thank you!!
22/03/2020
jenblea
jenblea
Great day! Lovely tour guide. Zenkoji temple was beautiful in the snow and we enjoyed the optional experience of finding the key under the temple. Very dark tunnel and longer than I had anticipated so maybe not ideal for those who get claustrophobic. It had been snowing fairly heavily the day before we went to see the snow monkeys. It was beautiful - and we were very grateful for renting snow boots due to snowy, sometimes slippery path and slushy puddles. Was brilliant walking along the forest path and glimpsing the monkeys! Definitely recommend
16/03/2020
mgh1965
mgh1965
What a great day it has been. Took the train to Nagano from Tokyo just to do this tour. Well worth it. The guide was very knowledgeable & friendly. The temples are good , the Sake & the lunch were very tasty. But the monkeys were amazing. We had snow & make sure you wear good hiking boots. Also it was absolutely freezing, so wear every piece of clothing you own. You can hire boots if you don’t have any. 500 yen. Big tick off the bucket list. Highly recommended!
14/03/2020
lilcapone0606
lilcapone0606
This was an amazing trip and so much fun !! The instructor really made it amazing and seeing the snow monkeys was a highlight of my trip !!
11/03/2020
cmbrood
cmbrood
This tour was well worth the money. The Zenkoji Temple was impressive and fascinating -- more so than any of the ones we visited in Tokyo -- and the lunch/sake tasting were fantastic. The snow monkeys stole the show, though. It was a fairly warm day and none of them actually bathed in the hot spring, but there were dozens of them hanging out on the mountainside. The babies were especially adorable, playing tag and wrestling! The tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and very approachable. Getting to Nagano on the train from Tokyo was fast and easy, and the tour meeting point was right there at the station. It was truly an enjoyable and hassle-free day. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Japan.
09/03/2020
Jordan W
Jordan W

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.

Highly recommended.

06/03/2020
Jordan W
Jordan W

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.

Highly recommended.

06/03/2020
Jordan_W
Jordan_W
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. Highly recommended.
05/03/2020
kukukaroo
kukukaroo
Kieron was a great tour guide. I highly recommend this tour for those that would like to see a bit of Nagano and the snow monkeys. It is particularly enjoyable during the winter.
26/02/2020
kowetas
kowetas
Had a wonderful day getting picked up from Hakuba and taken to Nagano where we visited the Zenko-ji Temple. Chieko our guide told us about the temple and the local area, before we went to try some Sake and then eat a delicious traditional lunch (vegetarian and vegan options very pleasing to see). In the afternoon, a pleasant drive to the mountains meant that Chieko once more had some time to talk to us before we visited the Monkey sanctuary, then I spent a couple of hours observing and photographing the wonderfully charismatic animals. Unfortunately it was a warmer day so they weren't really using the hot spring, but it was wonderful none the less. My one improvement to the tour would be that I would have liked a bit more free time at the temple (we only had around 25 minutes), and perhaps less time at lunch - though I can understand everyone eats at different speeds so that would be more difficult.
22/02/2020
chantellehh24
chantellehh24
This tour is one for the bucket list. It truly exceeded all our expectations. Myself and my family joined another 5 tourists along with our guide, Haruna. Haruna was really sweet, friendly and knowledgeable and endeavoured to make sure we all had a fantastic day. She answered any questions we had and if she didn’t have the answers herself would venture to find them. The tour itself was fantastic. Nagano is the most beautiful town, especially covered in a fresh coating of snow. Zenkoji Temple was fascinating and a really interested stop. The sake tasting was fun and informative and lunch was hearty and delicious. The monkeys themselves were of course the highlight. If you are visiting in winter as we were, make sure to really rug up, as it’s about a half an hour hike to the actual monkey site and it can get really chilly (but it’s absolutely worth the frozen fingers - the snowy scenes are like something out of a fairytale). You may also want to make sure you wear proper hiking boots because when it snows it get VERY icy and slippery. But if not you can hire boots or clamps from the site (Haruna helped us with this). This time of the year there was a lot of snow so we really got the full experience of the snow monkeys. There were so many just playing around at the baths and two who were actually got to see soak in the hot spring which was a lovely scene. We had plenty of time to watch the monkeys and take lots of photographs. At no point during the day did we feel rushed by Haruna (in fact, we were ahead of schedule throughout the whole day). Overall this was a really special day which wouldn’t have been possible without the tour. Would 10/10 recommend!
16/02/2020
Kopura_Tiki
Kopura_Tiki
Tour was overpriced, the temple part of the tour seemed tacked on just to justify the high price. The same can be said about the restaurant. The sake tasting was just an exercise to get us to buy it from the shop. The mini bus ride to the monkey park was rough, we were in the back seat and felt every bump. After all that, we had to walk 1.6 km in mud to the so-called onsen. There were a lot of monkeys but none in the “onsen” After 30 mins only two monkeys got in the fake, man made hot pool. I got some good photos but was disappointed to find out it isn’t a natural hot spring. (the water might be but not the rock pool) It occurs to me that the monkeys have been, at least in the beginning, trained with food to start using the onsen. One can’t help but feel that this place is just one big tourist trap. I cannot recommend doing this tour. If you can make your own way to the monkeys I guess you might enjoy them, just be aware it’s not as natural as you might think.
16/02/2020
agnescpac
agnescpac
Loved the tour and would definitely do it again. So much to see and its a great experience for first timers to Japan. Our tour guide Chieko speaks really good English too! And the lunch was SO SO GOOD, one of the best meals my friend and i had on our trip.
16/02/2020
896gracen
896gracen
Visiting Snow Monkey Park was fabulous! Sylvain, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and a definite plus was that his English was excellent.
15/02/2020
Susan G
Susan G
My husband and I did this tour from Hakuba. Michelle was our guide and she did a great job keeping us informed and on time. We did a variety of things from Temple tour, Sake tasting, a lovely lunch and of course the amazing snow monkeys. It is quite a walk into to see the monkeys, so wear appropriate shoes- we had to get clamps because of the iced track the day we visited. Michelle helped with this. We had plenty of time to watch and photograph the monkeys, we did not feel rushed. They are amazing to spend time observing. Great day overall.
14/02/2020
SMH6
SMH6
This tour exceeded our expectations. Our tour leader was Kieren . He is terrific: knowledgeable, friendly, professional and very considerate. The tour of the temple was very informative as was the sake tasting. Lunch, which on most tours is dour at best, was simply outstanding at a very good restaurant called Monzen Terrace Enya. The visit to the monkey park was memorable. It starts with a lovely forest walk of around 25 minutes to arrive at the area where the monkeys gather. It was snowy and icy so we bought crampons at the start of the walk which was a good move as without them we would have been worrying about slipping and this would have detracted from the experience. On the day we were there the monkeys were out in numbers seemingly oblivious to our presence. They were running around us, in between us and generally carrying on , well, like monkeys, all very close to us. We felt quite safe and they seemed totally unperturbed. It was easy to get lots of good photos. All in all an outstanding tour that I recommend without reservation.
07/02/2020
598kristianr
598kristianr
Bought this tour as a Christmas present for my partner, as I had already seen the snow monkeys. We both had an amazing time with a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, Kieron. The lunch was much better than we anticipated - the hot pot with sushi starter at Enya was perfect! 10/10 would recommend.
07/02/2020
dynamic14
dynamic14
We met up with the group at JR Nagano station at 9.35am and first stop was Zenkoji temple, the 3rd largest temple in Japan. We had some free time to walk around before meeting at 11am for the sake tasting session followed by lunch at the nearby Enza cafe. After lunch, we took an approximately 50minutes ride on the coach to the monkey park, the highlight of the day. You are highly recommended to bring your crampons along. A number of us in the group decided that safety is more important and bought the crampons at 1350 yen per pair. Then begins the 1.3km trek to the entrance of the Snow Monkey Park. Be sure to use comfortable walking shoes and you will need to be pretty mobile to cover the route and the 50 odd steps to the entrance. We enjoyed a slow walk, taking in the fresh cool air. The journey was worth it as we got to see many monkeys playing with and grooming one another. According to our guide, the monkeys will usually be up in the mountains foraging for food. However during winter, when food is scarce, they will come down to the monkey park, as the rangers have thrown seeds onto the ground, to forage for food. Hence, your best bet of seeing the monkeys is during winter. She also mentioned that there were 5 days in autumn when they did not get to see the monkeys. This year, there was not much snowfall. Thus, when taking pictures, the monkeys seem to blend in with the rocks. But at least we got to see them. Also this year, the weather is not that cold and there were no monkeys in the hot springs. It was truly a fun time seeing the monkeys in the natural surroundings up close. Love it!
04/02/2020
thomashK2403EW
thomashK2403EW
Fantastic tour of the Snow Monkeys, loved the temple and lunch too. Special highlight was our incredible guide Moto who even gave us a map of restaurants he recommends in Hakuba :)
04/02/2020
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