Full-day trip out of Tokyo to see Nagano's best attractions
Chance to snap up-close shots of bathing snow monkeys
Steaming hot springs & quiet forested trails of Jigokudani
Zenko-ji temple, which holds Japan's first Buddhist statue
Opportunity to try samples of authentic sake at a brewery
About this activity
What's included, what's not
Guided tour of Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji, and a sake brewery
Admission to Jigokudani Monkey Park
Live tour commentary provided in English
Admission to Zenko-ji
Transportation between Nagano and Tokyo
What you can expect
Running throughout the year, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery. Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) and from there head to Zenko-ji. As a registered National Treasure, the temple is the most important cultural site in Nagano and one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in the entire country!
A place of true historic importance, full of legends and myths, 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 food by yourself.
It’s then time for an early lunch! Depending on the time of year we use different restaurants, each serving cuisine highlighting the best of Nagano’s renowned food culture. From delicious and warming beef, chicken, or vegetarian hot pot in the winter months, to mixed sushi plates and Nagano-style chicken or seasonal grilled vegetables through spring to autumn, meals are designed to match the season and complemented with a guided ‘sake’ tasting experience, led by your guide.
Home to a huge number of breweries, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s acclaimed sake (a non-alcoholic option is also available).
Well-fed and warmed by sake it's time to head-out of Nagano, as you are transported to the Snow Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads to the park and into Jigokudani – rather dramatically translating to “Hell's Valley”. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.
Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity. Make sure to bring your camera as you're going to need it!
By visiting the park in the afternoon when visitor numbers are lower, we aim to provide our guests with the best possible experience and more space and time with the monkeys. Your guide will then accompany back along the trail and soon have you heading.