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2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
106 posts
2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Hello all,

I am travelling to Nagano from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November. My main goals for the trip is to see more of Japan outside of Tokyo (of which I have been once), to eat local food (such as Soba but hopefully find more local restaurants and such), and to see the snow monkeys.

I kind of have a plan but would like to see if anyone can spot something I can't see.

31st Travel from Tokyo to Nagano mid morning hopefully arrival before lunch and drop bags at the hostel. That day spend seeing the temple and just walking around the city.

1st Go to see the snow monkeys so train to Yudanaka Station maybe walk around a bit, then Kanyabashi Bus and walk to the park. I was then going to on my way home go to Obuse and eat at Sakurai Kanseido Sensekitei but I have just seen that they are closed whilst I am there. I'd still like to go Obuse and walk around hopefully I can find another place that focuses on Soba or maybe someone here can recommend.

2nd Depending on what I think I may stick around for the morning or just train straight to Kanazawa.

Thanks for any responses/help

6 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
106 posts
1. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Sorry forgot to mention obviously in Obuse getting to try local chestnut foods as well sweet or savoury.

Charlottetown...
Level Contributor
12 posts
695 reviews
2. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

We have just returned from Japan and spent one night in Nagano with our main purpose being that of seeing the monkeys. From what we had read we found that the best way to get to the Monkey Park was to take the bus from Nagano. You can buy a Monkey Pass which includes your admission to the park and your transportation. It costs 3200yen and is well worth it. We found the Nagano station a little confusing...so here is my advice.

We went to the Tourism office when we arrived in Nagano and asked about where we could buy our passes to the Monkey park. The lady at the counter immediately told us there were no monkeys today. We showed us a live webcam of the little pond where the monkeys bathe and drink water and there were no monkeys in the pond at that time. We were so disappointed! Thankfully a tourist nearby overheard the conversation and came over and told us they had been to the park the previous day and there were lots of monkeys.

Now to buy your monkey passes. When you are standing in the Nagano station the main exit is facing South. You go down the West escalators to the basement and turn left. The ticket office is immediately on your right as you walk into that area. To ride the bus out to the Monkey park, you will walk across to the East side of the terminal through a long passageway also on the same level. When you go back up to the East side of the station, you will look for bus number 23 or 24 it will say Monkey park on the sign.

We found that going by bus saved having to make a transfer along the way ie. if you take the train, you have to ride the train and then take a bus to the park. This way you only ride the bus and it takes 45 mins to get to the Monkey Park bus stop.

Once you get off the bus, you start walking up the hill to the park. First you will be walking on a paved road. There are some signs showing the way but not a lot so just pay attention to your surroundings. In a short period of time, you will see the parking lot for Tour buses. This means that you are near the entrance gate to the park. Once you go through the gate, you will be walking up a steep incline - it soon levels off and you are walking on a dirt path through the forest... very pleasant. It took us about 40 mins to get to the park walking - this included stopping for the bathroom along the way and looking at restaurant menus.

I would suggest going to the park in the morning or no later than 12:30pm. The monkeys come down from the mountains and hang out until they are fed around 12:30pm and then we are told, go back into the mountains. I guess once the really cold weather comes, they will stay in the hot springs to get warmed up.

Check the bus/train schedules... we ended going out of Nagano at 10:15am and that worked really well for us.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
134 posts
45 reviews
3. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Any recommendation on accomodation?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
106 posts
4. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

I stayed at the local hostel which was comfortable and quiet and really easily located.

Obviously they are shared but they also have private rooms most of them.

Just with Nagano a couple tips that you didnt even ask for but im going to post anyways

soba shop called ビラ大門 dunno the english not even sure if they have an english name its address is 〒381-0000 Nagano-ken, Nagano-shi, Nagano, Daimonchō−46-1 and the shop has a bus stop directly infront of it. Good soba reasonable pricing.

2nd if you go to the snow monkeys and they say stuff like oh they may not come down, dont be disheartened I waited 40minutes and it was well worth it.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
134 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Thank you!

1 post
6. Re: 2 day itinerary for Nagano including snow monkey park

Thank you for the information

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