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“This is a must-do on your trip to Japan”

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
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Snow Monkey and Cycling Day Tour in Nagano
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“This is a must-do on your trip to Japan”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

This was one of the best things my husband and I did in Japan. We visited during the summer, and we were literally the only people in the entire park, with the exception of a few staff members. It was so cool to see wild monkeys in their habitat with no fear of humans. That being said, they had some serious teeth, so I wouldn't try petting them or anything. We got some great pictures and great memories. There were lots of babies and it was fun to watch them eating and playing. You have to walk about a mile to get there, but it's a nice trail and completely worth it. There are signs marked with different things to look for, and we saw some pretty lizards during the hike. I can't think of any place where you would get a similar experience.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank ChelseaBritain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cape Town
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Up close and personal”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We loved the snow monkey park. The monkeys come down from the mountains every day to use the hot springs and they feed them every morning at 9am I believe. It was cool how they weren't interested in humans and there were no fences. It wasn't so great that there was litter in the river that I feel the staff should clean up. There was a little hike you could do thru the forest to the next town and back which we really enjoyed.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank mothercityhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Fabulous experience”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

It really is a different experience seeing these monkeys in their habitat and in the wild.
During the winter, it is a lot easier to pay to get on a special bus that goes all the way up to the car park of this place.
The car park is closed during winter to the public and if you try getting there by other means, you will spend quite awhile walking to the place with the monkeys.
So, ask your ryokan where is the location to get on the special bus in Shibu Onsen town

Visited December 2011
2 Thank yu_take
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Easier to get to than you think, monkeys in October”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We travelled to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in October 2012 as an independent day trip from Tokyo. Prior to setting out, we were concerned (1) about how to get there and (2) if there would be any monkeys in October:
(1) It's actually much easier than we thought - we had JR passes which covered our trip on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano and then from Nagano we caught the private rail (there are direct busses in the winter but these are very infrequent off-season) to Yudanaka, a bus from the train station to the bottom of the park area (40 minute walk or 10 minutes on the bus) and then a nice walk to the park through the forest on a well maintained trail (30 minutes - I did this in flip flops and was quite happy but I appreciate that in winter you might need proper shoes). Based on the Onsen Soaker Blog, we bought the Kaede no Yu coupon at Nagano station (please note that there is some poorly translated english guidance at the station which suggests that you should not do this but it worked really well for us) for ¥1500 which included the round-trip train ticket and a trip to the Onsen which is located just to the back of the Yudanaka Train Station (I think that it is mandatory that you visit the onsen (they will stamp your ticket) but the onsen is basic but clean and very friendly (and is quite a nice break if you've been travelling all day - though do remember a towel)) - the coupon reduced the cost of the train ticket by about half (plus you get to visit an Onsen!). There were English speaking volunteers at the train station who greeted us with maps and helped us with the bus. I cannot emphasise how friendly (and helfpul) everyone at the station, in the village and in the Onsen was - especially as we did not speak Japanese.
(2) There were monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys - along the paths, on the roofs and near the monkey onsens - large monkeys and baby monkeys.
I would absolutely recommend this trip - we left Tokyo around 8am and were back for dinner. There is a lot of transport involved but it is reliable and quite straightforward. The monkeys are amazing and Yudanaka is a really nice place to visit if your travels have mostly been through the cities.

Visited October 2012
23 Thank PJice9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Fun fun fun snowy monkeys!!!”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

It took a bus and a 30 min walk on a snowy slope to reach the hot spring where the monkeys hang out but it was worth it! The spring was surrounded by bearded westerners with huge cameras - felt like we're in anthropology central! :D Anyway, there were tons of monkeys of various ages lounging in the spring, running around and clowning around on the ropes that are hung there for that purpose - especially the small ones are really cute. It was February, the right season to be there but it was really cold and snowy (also it's fairly dangerous to walk there if you don't have the right shoes, so make sure you do!), so keep moving to keep warm. It was the highlight of the area.

Visited February 2012
Thank UK_Traveller3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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