Snow Monkeys


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Wonder at the famous snow monkeys soaking in the hot springs


Duration: 5 Days
Starts in: Japan
Group Size: 2-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano; travel to Yudanaka

Your tour leader will meet you at the Hirokouji exit of Ueno station at 08:00am. If you choose to stay at the Parkside Hotel pre tour accommodation, the guide will meet you at the foyer at 7.45am and walk you to the station. We then take the bullet train to Nagano (1.5hr) where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held. Normally Nagano is 5 - 10 degrees celsius colder than in Tokyo, so be sure to bring warm clothes. We first visit Zenkoji temple, a Buddhist temple constructed in 7th century. Nagano city itself was built around the temple and the locals are now strong believers of Buddhism. After a visit to Zenkoji, we will head to Yudanaka, a small but famous hot spring area where we will be staying tonight. Enjoy a traditional dinner served at your accommodation.Overnight: Yorozuya Yurakukan

Visit the famous Snow Monkeys

In the morning we see the famous snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park, a hot spring paradise for monkeys (scientific name : Macaque Fuscata) set deep in the forest! We must walk about 30 min after getting off at the nearest bus stop. It may be snowing, so please bring waterproof shoes and pants. In the afternoon we will explore the nearby and charming Shibu to rest our legs in one of the Yudanaka Onsen’s foot spas.Overnight: Yorozuya Yurakukan

Obuse town sightseeing

Today we visit the town of Obuse, known for woodblock prints by Hokusai, Japan’s famous Edo period woodblock print artist. We will visit the Hokusai Museum and admire some the artist’s great prints and also visit the Takai Kozan Memorial Hall, home of local tycoon Takai Kozan, a friend and supporter of Hokusai. Both are linked by the Kuri no Komichi, a small pathway paved with blocks of chestnut wood. The town itself has well preserved Japanese houses and shops which will take you back to Japan’s yesteryear. We will try Obuse’s local specialty – chestnut – in various forms and visit one of Obuse’s four sake breweries. If time permits, there are also a number of temples and art museums in Obuse worth a visit.Overnight: Yorozuya Yurakukan

Togakushi snow shoe hike

Today we will travel from the Yudanaka area to Togakushi Highland Ski Resort via Nagano. The journey on the bus from Nagano to Togakushi will take approx. 70min. Surrounded by high mountains, this is a popular destination for winter sports. We will enjoy a snow shoe hike through an amazing winter landscape with a local naturalist guide. This evening we stay at Togakushi and enjoy the local cuisine and a soak in hot more spring waters.Overnight: Pension Azelia

Return to Toyko where trip concludes

We depart Nagano and head back to Tokyo this morning. The trip will conclude today after arriving at Ueno station.

Additional Information

The sight of wild Japanese Macaques or 'Snow Monkeys' taking a leisurely soak in an onsen surrounded by snowy steep cliffs is truly an unforgettable sight. On this journey, you will be accommodated in traditional style inns surrounded by inviting hot spring pools. Other highlights include a visit to the historical town of Obuse to experience Japan's famous Edo period woodblock prints in the Hokusai's museum. You will learn the art of snow shoeing as you hike through an amazing winter landscape with a local naturalist guide in Togakushi. Saki breweries, roasted chestnut vendors and temples that are set amongst beautiful forests are what the Nagano area is famous for.


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