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Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple

star-4.5
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Chiyoda City, Japan
10

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icon12 hours  (Approx.)
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

See some of Japan’s most incredible creatures in their natural environment on this enriching full-day tour from Tokyo. Board a super-fast bullet train and commence your excursion with a tour of Zenko-ji, a stunning 7th–century temple considered a national treasure. Experience magical moments while watching snow monkeys bathing in hot springs. Enjoy personalized attention from your guide on this small-group seasonal sojourn, which runs from January to April.
  • Full-day Nagano snow monkey tour by rail from Tokyo, led by an informative guide
  • Tour Zenko-ji Temple, a national treasure and a Buddhist place of worship for centuries in Japan
  • Observe Japanese macaques as they soak in outdoor hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park
  • Enjoy a lunch of soba noodles, a Nagano favorite
  • Includes round-trip Shinkansen bullet train ticket and public transport by bus and local train
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 ensures a personalized experience
Saved to wishlist!
Round-trip transport by Shinkansen bullet train
Local transportation fare
Professional English-speaking guide (after Nagano Station)
Lunch (Japanese soba buckwheat noodles)
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Gratuities
Guide (during train ride between Tokyo and Nagano)

Departure Point

Tokyo Station, 1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan

Departure Time

6:50 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Make your own way to Tokyo station in the morning and climb aboard a Shinkansen bullet train for the scenic 2-hour journey to Nagano (the train ticket will be mailed to you prior to tour departure). On arrival, greet your guide and depart in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach; drive to the sacred and spectacular Zenko-ji Temple to enjoy a guided tour of the Buddhist monument. Gain fascinating insight into the rich history of the structure then revitalize with a hearty lunch of soba, buckwheat noodles, in a local diner.

Sated, head to Zenkojishita station to board a local train heading to Yudanaka, home to the majestic monkey park of Jigokudani, internationally renowned as the only place that snow monkeys can be seen enjoying soothing hot springs. Become mesmerized by the human mannerisms of the monkeys and gaze in awe as they socialize and soak in the steamy baths.

After the park, return to Yudanaka station and take two trains back to Tokyo, where the tour concludes.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Zenko-ji Temple
Zenko-ji Temple is one of the most important and popular temples in Japan. It was founded in the 7th century and stores the first Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan when Buddhism was first introduced in the 6th century. The original statue is hidden while a copy of it is shown to the public every six years for a few weeks.
Duration: 40 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
The Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Kōen) offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring. The park is inhabited by Japanese Macaques, which are also known as Snow Monkeys.
Duration: 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • [Important]: Please make sure the correct hotel name and address will be provided in the "Special Requirements" when you make a booking. After your booking is confirmed, the tour operator will send train tickets with itinerary and departure time to the address provided. Fail to provide correct hotel information,it can't be confirmed.
  • Please refer to the tickets and final itinerary for the train numbers and times. Requests for specific Shinkansen times are not accepted. The tickets and final itinerary will be delivered to the address you provide at least one day before departure.
  • This is a hard walking tour covering about 40 minutes of walking each way between the Roman Museum parking lot and Jigokudani Monkey Park. Please note that we are unable to provide special support for those with trouble walking, or small children.
  • Also, the walking path may be frozen and slippery if there is snow. Please wear winter boots or other non-slip footwear. The temperature in the area in winter averages about -1°C, so it may be quite cold. Please wear warm clothing. The tour will not enter Roman Museum.
  • Children 5 years old and younger can join the tour free of charge with no seat, meal, and admission ticket provided. For children's ticket to enter Jigokudani Monkey Park, please purchase it directly at the park gate
  • Ticket can not be sent to Airbnb which has no reception service and private home.In this case ,pick-up at Tokyo City i is available from 3 days before the tour departure date until one day prior to departure. https://en.tokyocity-i.jp/about/access/
  • Public transportation will be used in Nagano and seats cannot be reserved or guaranteed
  • Lunch includes soba buckwheat noodles. Please advise of any food allergies or dietary restrictions
  • Not recommended for participants with heart complaints, other serious medical conditions or pregnant women
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • An English-speaking tour conductor will accompany the tour from arrival at JR Nagano Station until tour ends at JR Nagano Station.
  • The behavior of wild monkeys is unpredictable. The park will be closed to visitors in case the monkeys do not come down to the park from the mountains. The tour may be canceled on the day before tour departure in such cases. A full refund will be issued if the tour is canceled.
  • Itinerary may be revised depending on changes in transportation schedule
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc.

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.

If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple?
A:
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
See all safety measures taken by Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple?
A:
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "Be prepared to wear waterproof footwear as you’ll trudge through some snowy mud." See review
  • "We highly recommend journeying into the basement for the "spiritual journey" in the dark- scary but worth it!" See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
25 Reviews
1 star
0
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 25 reviews
star-3
One of a kind experience
Alexis
, Mar 2020
This tour includes the bullet train ticket to Nagano from Tokyo station. We were staying at an AirBnb (not hotel) so we needed to go pick up our tickets beforehand - plan to include that in your itinerary if you are not staying at a hotel. You are meant to find your way to Nagano on own. The guide meets you and the group at the Nagano train station. From there you visit the temple and lunch. We were disappointed to not really learn anything about the temple. Our guides English was not as good as other tours we enjoyed during our stay. I’m surprised to read that others enjoyed their lunch - we found it to be average at best. After lunch you head by bus to the see the snow monkeys. Be prepared to wear waterproof footwear as you’ll trudge through some snowy mud. The walk was lovely - we stopped along the way to take photos with a picturesque winter backdrop - a very unique and serene setting. Once you arrive at the park you will spend about an hour observing the monkeys. We really enjoyed it. One hour is plenty of time before heading back to the bus which takes you to the train station for your travel back to Tokyo station. The snow monkey park was great - however considering our need to pick up the bullet train tickets, I wonder if it would have been a better experience to just make the arrangements on own. It was convenient to have the bus arranged but the guided experience and lunch was lacking. I would recommend doing a little research to maybe make your own plans - save yourself the possible need to pick up tickets. However, a great authentic experience to see the snow monkeys. Do not miss this as part of your trip. A nice change of pace from Tokyo.
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star-5
The actual walk in the snow.
raypurdue
, Feb 2020
Very well organized. Ken our guide was wonderful. The actual walk up to the monkeys is quite something. You need to be fit for a 50 minute up hill walk .
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star-5
Snow Monkey Tour
yick2019
, Dec 2019
Good value. It includes Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Nagano round trip plus lunch. Better to go there between December and March when the temperature is low. You will then see the monkey dipping in the hot spring. 45min walk from the drop off point to the monkey hot spring spa. Awesome experience. Do not bring any food even in plastic bag.
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star-5
Only one monkey, but it was the best monkey
Culture61640614396
, Dec 2019
Our guide, Mariko, was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. She spent extra time showing us around the temple, and explained the significance and rituals surrounding its history. We highly recommend journeying into the basement for the "spiritual journey" in the dark- scary but worth it! There was only one monkey at the park when we arrived, but we were still happy to see him. He walked around quite a bit and was not shy in the least.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
We loved the Monkeys
GoPlaces02373422339
, Mar 2019
A very easy going and friendly trip with an expert guide. The connections were clear and the staff was helpful.
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star-5
Fantastic experience
Hege H
, Mar 2019
Easy train ride with Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano where our tour guide waited for us as we stepped out on the platform. The air in Nagano was so nice and fresh. Zenko-ji Temple was nice. The Soba noodles we had for lunch were very tasteful. The highlight of the tour was indeed the snow monkeys. Such an amazing experience to watch the in the hot springs.
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star-4
It's nice to see the snow monkeys...
Ady
, Mar 2018
It's nice to see the snow monkeys during winter but I find the walk path very unsafe most especially for children and seniors. They should put precautionary measures such as rails on the walk path as it was slippery and wet during winter. It's like an accident waiting to happen to anyone.
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star-5
Definitley the highlight of our trip to...
LCP
, Mar 2018
Definitley the highlight of our trip to Tokyo! I would recommend this activity to individuals and families who are looking to enjoy nature.
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star-5
A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Well...
Sarah D
, Feb 2018
A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Well organised and good instructions to get the train to Nagano by yourself, time to look around the temple and surrounding shops, tasty Japanese lunch and then amazing trip to see the monkeys. The walk through the forest is a little slippery, but beautiful.
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star-3
Overall the trip was a pleasant way to...
Cydney L F
, Jan 2018
Overall the trip was a pleasant way to spend the day. The tickets for the bullet train were somewhat confusing as we had never ridden the train before. The guide did not seem to know much about the Zenko-ji Temple so that portion of the tour was not very interesting. Lunch was extremely good. The walk to the Snow Monkey Park was very icy and at times dangerous. The distance was not difficult but if the bus could have parked at the actual lot so we did not have to walk on the road up to the parking lot it would not have been as icy. The monkeys were really the stars of the show.
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