Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Yamanouchi-machi: Hours, Address, Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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2,696 reviews
Very good

Singapore, Singapore29 contributions
This is to give information on the 1.6 km walk to the Snow Monkey Park as we (seniors in our 60s') were rather concerned after reading some reviews in this forum that some parts of the trail (which would take about 40 minutes during winter) were treacherous / slippery and about toilet facilities.

We bought the Snow Monkey Pass (Yen 3,600) at Nagano Station and took the 9 am express bus which was about a 40 minutes' ride to the Snow Monkey Park bus terminal. Walked up a gentle slope for about 10 minutes to arrive at a car park which has toilet facilities. Not snowing today and there was not much snow around the park as Japan was having a mild winter this year. From the car park, walked another 10 minutes and a rather steep slope (about 30 degrees' incline) of about 5 meters long just before reaching the Gifts Shop. This slope was not so slippery at the time we walked up with our hiking shoes which have a good grip. At the Gifts Shop, I bought the crampons for Yen1,350 while my friend rented boots for Yen 800. The 1.6 km trail start besides the Gifts Shop, on a rather steep slope (about 30 degrees' incline with stairs in the middle of it) of about 5 meters long with railings on both sides. With my crampons, it was easy to walk up the rather slippery stairs as there was some ice on them. It was an easy walk (as the snow on the path had been cleared off) through the lovely beech forest. After about 35 minutes (including walking up 2 flights of steep stairs of about 45 degrees' incline), arrived at the Snow Monkey Park Information Center, a small building which was heated and has toilet facilities. This is where people pay the Yen 800 entrance fee (if they did not buy the Snow Monkey Pass). The snow monkeys were cute and fascinating. Spent an hour at the hot spring area and took lots of photos of them.The place was not too crowded with people.

On the way back, my friend FELL (even though she was wearing hiking shoes with a good grip) on the very slippery slope (where there were no railings on this part of the slope) just before the Gifts Shop. I saw people slipping a lot here as ice has formed on the slope. Just after the Gifts Shop, the 5 meter long slope was also very slippery as ice has formed. I saw people having a difficult time walking down this slope. My friend held on to me (as it was not a problem for me with the crampons). I strongly recommend using the crampons for seniors like me to have a comfortable and safe walk (even on slippery and snowy parts) on the 1.6 km trail. The parts which were treacherous / slippery to me were the rather steep slopes which had turned icy, just before and after the Gifts Shop.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Wandering Reviewer
Melbourne, Australia9,641 contributions
Not that easy to get to but well worth it. Where we came from it took us 3.5 hours each way. Make your way to Nagano and it’s not too bad. We came via train so purchased tickets at the counter for around 3700Yen which was a two day pass on the train and bus plus entry into the park. It’s a good idea to get the pass in case of a bad weather day. Make sure you catch the right train to Yudanaka Station and then catch the bus to the bus station near the Park.
You can also catch a bus from Nagano. With your Snow Monkey Park Pass you can see the timetable of all the public transport which is useful if you’re here later in the day and not sure about those last minute connections. The walk from the bus station to the entrance is about 500m in a gentle incline uphill. There is a merchandise shop at the start plus a tv screen that is streaming what the monkeys are up to LIVE inside the park. The walk in takes around 20-30 minutes. It’s uphill and as we went in winter there were such skippering icy sections as well as a lot of mud. The actual entrance where you pay is about 200m from where the monkeys are in the pools together. You’ll start to see some before you get there but don’t be distracted, get straight to them.
There is only one hot pool and the monkeys come and go depending on the weather and their families. You can get very close and I mean VERY close but they really ignore you. It was snowing while we were there adding to the experience.
Easy to anthropomorphise these macaques but don’t under estimate them. They are smart creatures and when you leave I recommend reading the interpretation signs in the merchandise building. This place also has toilets and a water machine.
The walk out is much quicker and all down hill.
Please take out any of your rubbish. Respect the monkeys. Be mindful of other patrons and don’t hog the photo opportunities.
A must visit.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan S
Brisbane, Australia9 contributions
We stayed overnight in Nanago so we could dedicate a day to visiting the monkeys. We took the train from Nanago station and then a bus from the train station using the Snow Monkey pass purchased from the train station. We really enjoyed the train ride so if you have a choice between train and bus, we would recommend taking the train. Check the times for the return trip as we just missed the bus to the train stationand had to wait for a bus, which then took as all the way back to Nanago (buses are less frequent in the mid to late afternoon). The track can be slippery to walk so wear good boots and either rent or take snow cleats. There weren't many monkeys playing in the hot bath, but there were lots playing on the hill.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Christian Karcher
Melbourne, Australia215 contributions
We heard quite some excitement amongst friends who had visited the Snow Monkey Park,hence we decided to go there as a day trip.

We arrived from Hakuba by bus, and purchased the tickets (bus and entrance fee) at the underground station (ask at the Nagano Station Tourist Information)

The bus stop is at the bottom of a 30min walk on a rather muddy path (take proper shoes that can get dirty depending on the weather) Without snow the scenery looks pretty sad and grey.

The entire park looks rather uninviting and poorly maintained. Lots of building materials, pipes, rubbish scattered around. At the top of the park is a manmade onsen in which the monkeys take their bath (they didn’t on the day we visited).

Yes, you see lots of monkeys close up but that’s really it. We wouldn’t bother doing the trip again or recommending it to anyone. Time and money are better spent on another day on the slopes or in Nagano/Tokyo in our view. Mind you it’s a lot of travel for 30 minutes at the monkeys.

Another word of warning: unless you come with a rather pricey organised your, the regular busses to and from Nagano have a funny timetable. There is a 2h gap in the afternoon between two return busses and we missed the earlier one. Therefore we were condemned to a long wait - entirely our fault. Make sure you check the departure times before you head off into the park.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Houston, TX6,206 contributions
We spent 2 nights at Metropolitan Hotel in Nagano to visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park. We came on Tuesday, December 31. Our hotel sold us the Snow Monkey Pass for 3600 yen per person which included entrance to the Monkey Park, 2 day unlimited use of the Nagano Dentetsu Line, 2 day unlimited use of the Nagaden Express Bus (Nagano Station to Snow Monkey Park round trip).

The line was already quite long at around 8:25 am when we stood in line for the first Express bus which left at 8:50 am. We couldn't get on the first bus so we got on the second bus at 9 am. The bus ride takes 50 minutes to the Snow Monkey Bus Stop. This is the Express Bus.

From where the Bus dropped us off, it took us around 25 - 30 minutes on foot to reach the park. The trail wasn't that difficult and doesn't have much elevation. However, it was slushy and muddy and wet. Some spots were slippery. The path is narrow so when there are people coming and going, it can get crowded.

The actual onsen area where the monkeys hang around is quite small so everyone congregates there. By the time we reached this area it was around 10:30 am. It was super crowded. Everyone is a tourist here. You won't find any Japanese locals. For this reason, it wasn't very enjoyable. It definitely is NOT a calm and quiet place.

By noon, we were back at the Bus Station. We stood in line to take the 12:30 pm back to Nagano Station. The bus stop is outside. There isn't a place to wait inside and it was cold and windy and started to snow. On top of which, the bus was about 10 minutes late. I didn't think that part was very well done because it is quite crazy to have people stand outside in such cold weather for 30+ minutes. Also, if you don't stand in line, there is a chance you won't get a seat on the bus.

By the time we got back to Nagano Station, it was almost 2. We used our Pass to take the train to Zenkoji Temple in the afternoon on the Nagano Dentetsu Line.

Overall, I would say if it was less crowded it would be more enjoyable but it is incredibly touristy.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael Lau
19 contributions
We rented a 5-seater car at the JR Nagano Station at ¥6,800 (insurance included and 10% for JR pass holder). It is about one-drive to the mountain bottom. The road to the top is closed for winter and we walked to the top for about 50 mins. Beautiful scenery on the way. Nice photos were taken. Good hiking. Snowy boots and anti-slip overshoes are strongly recommended. You can get these from a small shop at the entrance.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Irene R
Melbourne, Australia56 contributions
There is a 1.6 klm walk from bus stop drop off point to the monkey park. Be careful with walk as it can get slippery when wet or when snowing. Recommend good hiking shoes or boots. Once there you only pay at the entrance ¥800 per person (adults) and can stay as long as you like.

There’s one main pool where the hot spring water flows into that the monkeys congregate around. The staff throw barley for the monkeys to encourage them to come close to the viewing area. You cannot touch or feed the monkeys - there are many around. We were there about 12pm and saw many around the pool and surrounding area.

Bit hit and miss if monkeys will go in to the pool so be prepared in case you expect them to be swanning around in the pool. There’s a live snow cam and we checked afterwards as it was snowing quite heavily and only saw 1 monkey in the pool.

Overall an enjoyable experience. There are toilet facilities at start of walk near car park area and also at the top of the park entrance.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Doha, Qatar7,389 contributions
Around 30 minutes drive from Iiyama. To note it’s around 2.0km uphill walk from base coach park initially along road (toilets on this road and cafe) then forest trail and finally up steep steps to ticket/entrance office (toilets here also). Very difficult access for less abled visitors. 600 yen entrance fee for adults. Unfortunately the whole area was experiencing the lowest snowfall for 27 years so no snow in forest or on trail up, just mud. Apparently when there is snow you do need spikes over boots to grip the compacted snow on the trail. When through entrance gate there are monkeys everywhere ..very tame but important not to touch or feed obviously. As there was no snow and it was a balmy 9c the monkeys were not keeping warm in the hot spring pools, just on the edge of the main pool and just about everywhere else in sight. Worth a visit or an alternative day from skiing.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sutherland Shire, Australia487 contributions
Amazing to see these animals in the wild while running around your feet. Was great to see them splashing about in the thermal pool as well...lots of baby macaques as well!

This was an incredible experience with a beautiful backdrop and a perfect attraction option for a quick stay in Nagano.

Tip: we stayed in Nagano and caught the Nagaden express bus from Nagano station (at bus rank number 23). You can’t Pre-book the bus ticket as you need to line up and just get on the bus. You then pay the driver when you get off the bus at the Snow Monkey Park and it’s cash only. It’s then a 2km Walk (mostly uphill) to see the monkeys. Yet on the way back you purchase your ticket back to Nagano from the ticket counter at the Snow Monkey Park. The cost for each bus ticket one way was Y1500 per adult and Y750 per child, so make sure you have plenty of Yen on you.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Coventry, UK7,124 contributions
This is something that I have always wanted to do as long as I can remember. When we were on a previous trip someone said that out hadn’t been snowing enough and that he had held off until the weather changed which made me a bit worried as our tour was going in a few days. I needn’t have worried, as we walked up the long entrance to the park the snow came in abundance and stopped as we arrived. These monkeys are so photogenic and it was lovely to see a mother and her two young “posing” for the money shot, the exact one that you have seen a thousand times. If you are there during feeding time outs amazing to see them all run down to the main pool running between the visits.
Life goal - ✔️
Written March 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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