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1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour

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Nagano, Japan
1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour

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icon8 hours  (approx.)
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iconOffered in: English

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See two of the top attractions near Nagano on this full-day excursion. Explore the tranquil grounds of Zenko-ji, a lovely religious site known for its historic Buddhist statue. Enjoy a sake tasting and lunch before heading down a beautiful forest trail to the home of the snow monkeys, a group of local macaques known for their willingness to live in the snow and bathe in the local hot spring.
  • Explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples
  • Take a break from sightseeing to enjoy a sake-tasting experience
  • Learn about snow monkeys in their natural habitat at the Snow Monkey Park
  • Enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch at a restaurant near Nagano
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Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
Lunch (vegetarian and vegan options available, please try to let us know in advance)
Sake tasting
English-speaking guide
Shinkansen/bullet train tickets
Entry to paid attractions at Zenko-ji
Additional food, snacks and drinks
  • Nagano Station , Kurita, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

    Your guide will be waiting in front of the large Information Board, directly across from the Shinkansen / Bullet Train ticket gates at 09:35. Your guide will be wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please ensure you are at the meetup point early so that departure is not delayed.

  • Hakuba Tokyu Hotel , 4688 Hokujō, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan

    Your guide will meet you at the hotel entrance at 07:40 and will be wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please note, this is group tour, not a private tour and your guide will not have time to search for you / call your room. Please be at the entrance early so that the tour can depart on-time.

  • Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal / Happo Information Center , Japan, 〒399-9301 Nagano, Kitaazumi District, Hakuba, Hokujō, 大字北城八方5734-1

    Your guide will meet you inside the terminal at 07:55 and will be wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please note, other tour operators use the terminal so make sure you ask that the guide confirms your booking. Please be at the entrance early so that the tour can depart on-time.

  • Hakuba Base Camp , 3020-121 Hokujō, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan

    Your guide will meet you inside the main building at 08:05 and will be wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. Please note, other tour operators use the terminal so make sure you ask that the guide confirms your booking. Please be at the entrance early so that the tour can depart on-time.

  • This activity will end right where it started.
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking including to and from the monkey park along a 1.6km (1 mile), unsealed forest trail. Please sure your footwear is approriate and you are dressed accordingly for the season.
    • Guests are required to follow the Snow Monkey Park rules at all times. Guests are not permitted to touch, hold, feed or bathe with the monkeys at any time. There are no barriers separating the monkeys from visitors to the park. Please ensure you keep a minimum distance of 1 to 2 meters between yourself and the monkeys. Your guide will explain the rules prior to entering the park.
    • This tour uses different forms of transport. Tours can be conducted by microbus, larger coach or train depending on the season and size of the group.
    • From mid-December until early-April the trail and park are likely to be affected by snow and ice. Please ensure that you are wearing suitable shoes/boots and warm clothing. If required, rental boots are available close to the monkey park and crampons (metal spikes that attach underneath your shoes/boots) can also be purchased. From mid-December until early-March please wear suitable clothing for temperatures potentially below 0°C (and as low as -10°C).
    • During the winter it is common to see the monkeys enjoying the hot spring however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
    • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park, arrive late or leave early. While this is unlikely, it is possible and is outside of our control.
    • Departure Tokyo Station – Arrival Nagano Station: Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) * Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    • Departure Nagano Station – Arrival Tokyo Station Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka
    • *Winter only* Guests in Hakuba can join this tour using our shuttle service from / to Hakuba Tokyu Hotel in Wadano, Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Base Camp in Echoland. This service is only available from 2021/12/15 until 2022/03/31 and may not be available every day between those dates. We apologise that bookings from / to Hakuba cannot be accepted outside of these dates. When using this shuttle service please note that your guide will join and depart the tour at Nagano Station.
    • *Winter only* This tour is scheduled to conclude at Nagano Station by 17:30 (and by 18:45 for guests joining from Hakuba in winter). However, due to weather and road conditions in winter we cannot guarantee the end time. For guests booking shinkansen tickets to travel to Tokyo after the tour in winter, we ask that you do not book any service earlier than the 17:56 Kagayaki (reservation only) or our recommendation of the 18:23 Hakutaka. For guests booking onward tickets to other destinations we also recommend doing so for times of 18:00 or later.
    • This tour includes lunch at Monzen Terrace Enya. On rare occasions it may not be possible to use this restaurant in which case we would switch to another, comparable location. Please note that the restaurant may change their menu from time-to-time and the tour lunch may different to images shown on this page.
    • This tour includes ‘sake’ tasting in Nagano City. The venue can change depending on the time of year. You must be a minimum of 20 years of age to consume alcohol on the tour.
    • Infants (0-5) are free of charge. An infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 80 travelers
    • OPERATED BY Machinovate Japan Ltd.
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
    What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour?
    A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
    See all safety measures taken by 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour.
    What is the policy on sanitization during 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour?
    A:The policies on sanitization are:

    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    See all safety measures taken by 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour.
    What is the social distancing policy during 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour?
    A:The policy on social distancing is:

    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    See all safety measures taken by 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour.
    What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour?
    A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Regular temperature checks for staff
    See all safety measures taken by 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake in Nagano Tour.

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    Traveler Tips

    • "The monkeys were all over, so don't worry about not seeing any (even during the summer or off season)." See review
    • "I found a gelato bar along the way which offers premium gelato, a must to try out." See review
    • "At the end of the day, grab some sushi from the local market at the train station and settle in for the ride back to Tokyo without much of a care except remembering your experience with the monkeys!" See review

    Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews


    205 Reviews
    2 stars

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 205 reviews
    Wonderful Day!
    , Nov 2020
    There was only five of us in the group so it felt more casual and relaxed than it would have in a bigger group. Our guide, Pete, was an excellent guide. He was knowledgeable and knew interesting facts about the temple, the customs, and the history. He was also very approachable and flexible during the tour. We didn't feel rushed and it was very enjoyable. The temple was very interesting and the fall colors were beautiful. There were many things to do and see at the temple so don't worry about being bored. The sake tasting was great and one of the employees explained things about the sake and miso in english. The lunch portion of the tour wasn't that remarkable but the food was good and the service was nice. The restaurant was also beautiful and clean. You only get two options: vegetarian or chicken. Dessert is included in the lunch as well. The snow monkey park was the best part of the tour (not by much). Walking to the park was easy and took about 20 minutes. The walk itself was nice and relaxing. The park was beautiful and picturesque. We lucked out that day and the park was full of snow monkeys. There were so many I wasn't sure where to look. You can get so close to the monkeys and they run around your feet unafraid. Don't be afraid to sign up even if it is raining. From my understanding the rain makes it more likely the monkeys will go down and get in the onsen. They didn't go in the onsen that day but that was hardly a detriment. The monkeys were so cute and interesting to watch. I definitely recommend this tour if you're visiting Nagano specially in the fall or winter time. You will get your money's worth.
    icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
    Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for choosing us! We are very happy to hear you enjoyed the day and there was lots of monkeys at the park. Autumn is a pretty spectacular time of year in Nagano and when you get lots of monkeys at the park, it's a pretty enjoyable experience. Again, thanks for taking the time to write a review and all the best for Christmas and into the New Year!
    Shrines, Sake, Snow Monkeys
    , Mar 2020
    An excellent day with great company! The snow monkeys were a treat. The temple tour was very comprehensive and the sake tasting plus lunch were very good. Highly recommended.
    wonderful trip!
    , Jan 2020
    that was a really fun day for me. lunch was yummy. the temple visit is really interesting. The tour guides were extremely helpful and excited to take us around
    , Dec 2019
    I had an amazing time on this tour. The temple was especially beautiful, the monkeys were as full of monkey-ness as anyone could hope, and the guides added so much depth to the experience, while still giving plenty of space to explore on our own (a trickier balance to achieve than it might seem). Really thoughtfully arranged.
    Amazing experience
    , Dec 2019
    We had an incredible time on this full day tour. Our guide was nice, informative, and really enjoyable to spend the day with. The temple visit was interesting and beautiful, and the time we were able to spend with the monkeys was a once in a lifetime experience. It was December which meant the monkeys were out in huge numbers, but not many were bathing. Would love to come back in deep winter to see them truly in snow. We even got to stop in to taste local fruit and buy some snacks for the road. Absolutely would recommend this tour.
    Snow monkeys!
    Deirdre O
    , Dec 2019
    Even though it was off season, this was a great tour. There was only 2 of us and we had the guide to ourselves for the day. He was a very nice Australian fella who has lived there for years and has a great knowledge and enthusiasm for the area. The temple tour, sake tasting and lunch we had at the start were very enjoyable but the highlight was definitely the monkeys who we were lucky enough to see for a great length of time even though it was off season. Our guide had a great knowledge of the monkeys and was able to identify individuals, their different personalities and how they affect the group's behaviour. The guide also had many suggestions for what we could do for the rest of our time in the area. All in as all this was a great tour with a great guide and we would highly recommend it!
    Monkeys rock
    , Nov 2019
    Our tour guide was fantastic! She able to gave us a deeper understanding of what we were experiencing! Although we were told No monkeys many times, 7 male monkeys came down to eat. We were a couple feet from them. Wow. Monkeys made the experience!
    Fun time, lots of Monkeys
    , Oct 2019
    Great tour guide, one of the best from our trip. She was helpful, informative, and willing to take photos. The monkeys were all over, so don't worry about not seeing any (even during the summer or off season). It was a great experience that definitely made our Japan trip more enjoyable. Highly recommended. Even the walk/train ride there was fun. We did go when it was warm outside. We might want to try again when it's colder to get some more iconic pictures of the snow. The monkeys did go for a swim despite the heat, plus we got to see a lot of baby monkeys around this time of year.
    , Oct 2019
    Zenko-Ji is a superb example of a Buddhist temple and the sake tasting was informative and fun. The highlight of the trip was the Snow Monkey Park. I was slightly concerned that there were warnings that the monkeys may not make an appearance in Autumn. Fear not! There was one sitting on the entrance building and the whole troup of around 150-160 monkeys were around the river and the hot spring. Lots of babies as well - brilliant! And our guide Mai was great - lots of good information and superb English!
    A great tour
    , Sep 2019
    Our tour guide Peter made sure this would be a tour to remember for the best of reasons. From beginning to end it was obvious that customer experience was the goal. Clear concise arrival/meeting/departure information. Made for a stress less arrival from Tokyo. Good decision to do temple in the cool of morning. We were a small group and it was obvious Peter had great local and cultural knowledge as we asked a lot of questions. Good amount of free time. Temple was beautiful, bonus got a good fortune. Sake tasting with local no pressure to buy, devine lunch at local restaurant. Then in to see the monkeys a leisurely stroll with a few steps through the forest was pleasant even in the light rain. Peter has made it clear that they are wild animals and they may not be there but they were much to our delight. We have no hesitation in recommending this tour Peta and Phil
    Monkeys are AWESOME
    , Jul 2019
    I can't really say enough good about this day. Asuka was a wonderfully pleasant guide for the day. The monkeys were incredibly cool. The Nihonshu was tasty! Even though the forecast was for mostly cloudy, the morning was blue sky and HOT, so we worked up a good sweat walking to and around Zenko-ji. Next was Nihonshu tasting and lunch. Then you go on a decent length of a train ride + mini-bus up to the Snow Monkeys. You do have to walk for another 20ish minutes along both paved and non-paved incline, but it was very easy and I had some great conversation with the guide on the way. Then the monkeys! When you get into the main area, they are everywhere! They walk amongst you, though you cannot touch them. There were baby monkeys with their mommas. There were kid monkeys playing with each other. There were all kinds of other monkeys doing monkey things. We stayed for about an hour or so and I enjoyed every minute of it. The afternoon we went was rainy, so there were very few people there...maybe 6-8 other humans. The guide said it is usually much more crowded. Couldn't recommend this activity enough. Even with the Shinkansen day trip from Tokyo, it was well worth it. At the end of the day, grab some sushi from the local market at the train station and settle in for the ride back to Tokyo without much of a care except remembering your experience with the monkeys!
    Great day tour
    , May 2019
    Staring off at snow monkey park and much to our surprise we managed to see so many monkeys, some in the hot spring, some just wandering around along with younger monkeys just playing. We then had lunch at Goen restaurant traditional Japanese bento lunch with was extremely appetising. We then headed back to Nagano by train to Zenko-Ji temple, a short stroll through the gates of temple past some quaint little shops before we got to Zenko-Ji temple. Very peaceful area. Heading over to the sake tasting area some interesting flavours. I found a gelato bar along the way which offers premium gelato, a must to try out.
    Brilliant tour and guide was very knowledgeabl
    , Apr 2019
    Very well organized tour with ample time at each location . Guide was very knowlegable and snow monkeys were lovely
    , Dec 2018
    The snow monkeys were worth the trip alone but the temple and or extremely knowledgeable guide a truly amazing tour. I don't think we could thank our guide enough for the invaluable information about our tour and things to do and see for the remainder of our stay in Japan.
    Kyoto tour
    , Nov 2018
    The tour was excellent and the tour guide, Peter, was outstanding. He not only provided a great tour experience for the points on the tour but he provided other cultural insights into Japan. We even had an unscheduled stop at a local produce market. This was the highlight of my trip to Nagano.
    Tour worth doing!
    , Oct 2018
    We really enjoyed our Tour. We got picked up in a bus. Had a small group of 9 guest. We got to see Monkeys up close and lots of them. We had a great lunch. (drink, salad, rice bowl with your choice of protein, Ramen soup and a dessert) all very good at a local spot. We had a great guide. (Shinji) He was great full of info, great with time, gave everyone time on there own. We even made a quick extra stop at an Apple Orchard to sample the great Apples Nagano produces. Then to the Temple: very cool and loved the way he explained all the different belief systems and it really helped you understand and it was nice if you wanted to try on your own. At this temple there is also an room you can go to for an enlighten experience. We recommend doing this. Its only 500yen and its only a 5min thing. But very important you cant be scared of the dark. So its a tunnel that is in side the temple. You will have to take off your shoes. (they give you a bag to put them in.) Now you go down into the tunnel. At first you can see and you go one person at a time. (no lights or cell phones allowed inside. you must walk threw the tunnel in complete darkness. They tell you to place your hand on the wall as you walk threw. Once it got completely dark I got a little nervous but I talked myself into completing my task. And I did and once you get to the end and you can see the light again. Wow crazy how all your worries are really just lifted from you. It was a very very cool experience that I think you should really do. (remember this is optional once you get there. Then we got free time to walk around the shops. Then after we went to the Sake tasting that we walked to, it was very close by. They had a large selection and you had a chance to try everything and the explanations were great. Again due to our guide he was great! Then after you can buy some sake and they have different sizes as well. very nice presentation. Then after a full day we got dropped off where we started. We enjoyed it all and we had a great guide maybe you can request him cause he really made the trip. :) Thank you an hope this helped you decide on your activity for the day
    This tour was the highlight of our...
    Trevor G
    , May 2018
    This tour was the highlight of our trip. Louki our guide was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Although it was early April when we were there, the snow monkeys were around to see. They were lovely and fun to watch. The visit to the Zenko-ji Temple was good and it was impressive to see. The sake tasting was great and we learnt a lot about sake whilst we were there. Overall it was an excellent experience and we would recommend doing this tour.
    We had a limited time in Japan, but...
    , Mar 2018
    We had a limited time in Japan, but seeing the snow monkeys was something we wanted to make time for. It made for a long day since we came from Tokyo, but we're so glad we went! We loved being outside we went in Feb and had fleece-lined pants, winter coats, snow boots, and hand-warmer packets, which was a nice change of pace from Tokyo. We researched a number of similar tours, but chose this one because visiting the monkeys were scheduled in the morning. The morning definitely had fewer people then compared to when we left. The baby macaques were adorable! The lunch was delicious. We stopped by a fruit market/grocery store and were able to buy a number of treats to take back for our families. The Zenko-ji Temple complex was beautiful. We loved our guide, Peter, he was very informative throughout the tour but not pushy. This tour was fantastic and we highly recommend it. And our friends and family love the pictures!
    First we went to see the show...
    , Feb 2018
    First we went to see the show monkey, and have shoes that not slip on ice or dirty ice. The monkey did not take a bath when I was there, but get some good pictures anyway. After that lunch at a ryokan that tastes very good., Then take bus and train to Nagano where we visited a famous Buddhist temple where our guide telling us many interesting things. And don't forget to go down in the labyrinth, and trying find the door to enlightenment. After that probably with a little tired feet it's time to go to the last event, sake tasting, there are both alcohol and non alcoholic, so everyone can taste.
    Very good day. It was certainly...
    Robert C
    , Feb 2018
    Very good day. It was certainly worth it to see the snow monkeys and visit the Temple. I thought the temple visit was a throw-in but ended up being more than I expected. If you go in the winter you only Need to visit one days as the monkeys are always there at that time because of the temperatue of the hot springs.

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