Fall Family Fun in Nagano — Chausuyama Zoo & Dino Park

October 19th, 2014 by
Category: Experience, Outdoor Activities

I took our 2 elementary school age kids to the Chausuyama Zoo and Dinosaur Park in Nagano City’s Shinonoi District one recent fine autumn day.

I was reminded how fun it is to climb a dinosaur,

Our daughter Misaki climbing the Chausuyama Dino Park triceratops, with the Zenkoji Plain in the background.

and just how cute the zoo’s lesser pandas are.

One of the Chausuyama Zoo's popular lesser pandas entertaining the audience

Chausuyama makes a great play date destination for families with small kids.

By the way, Chausuyama Zoo’s 2014 edition of its annual Zoo Festival takes place October 18th and 19th. Besides the normal activities such as feeding the giraffes and pony riding, there will also be turtle races (?), naming the baby lesser pandas, and other fun events.

Chausuyama Zoo and Dino Park

For access by train, the “Zoo-guru” bus runs from Shinonoi Station on the JR Shinonoi Line on weekends and holidays through Nov. 3, 2014.

2 Responses to “Fall Family Fun in Nagano — Chausuyama Zoo & Dino Park

  1. Dear Tyler,

    We are a family with a 4 year old child. We are considering going Nagano in mid Feb for a week. We are concerned whether the weather will be too cold as we are from the tropics and whether it is advisable to drive since we have no experience driving in winter. If we don’t drive, is it easy to move from place to place? We are interested in snow monkey, visiting onsen town, visiting the old castle and see some mountain and cultural stuff.

    Please kindly advise. Thanks.

    Regards, Wan Yee

  2. Wan-san, Thank you for your comment and for your inquiry regarding coming to Nagano in February with your child.
    To answer your questions,
    Temperatures in Nagano in mid February are usually cold, with daytime highs near freezing even down in the valleys. Lots of Australians come here during their summer vacation, leaving 40 deg C weather. I suggest bringing lots of fleece and a down jacket. If it gets too cold, do what we do — hop in an onsen bath.
    Winter driving can be unpredictable. The places you mention — Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park, onsen towns like ours here at Togura-Kamiyamada or the one adjacent to the monkey park, Shibu-Yudanaka, and most others, Japan’s oldest castle Matsumoto Castle, and mountain areas such as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen, are all easily accessible using public transportation.
    Regarding ‘cultural stuff’, perhaps if you could be more specific? www.unique-nagano.com has 300+ activities, restaurants and lodging in Nagano, the majority with train or bus access.

    So, to summarize, if you think Nagano in February will be cold, it will be cold. If you look at it as an opportunity to play in the snow, see the snow monkeys in their prime, etc, then maybe the cold will be bearable (again, think ‘onsen’!). And most visitors to Nagano use public transport, so I wouldn’t advise driving.

    Hope that helps!

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