Jigokudani Snow Monkeys now with Snow!

December 12th, 2013 by
Category: Information, Onsens (Hot Springs), Outdoor Activities, Seasonal Topics

The world-famous “Snow Monkeys” of the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park are cute any time of the year soaking in their onsen bath. But it’s when it snows is when they are truly in their most photogenic element. And that area has started to get their winter snow fall, so now is your chance!

Winter bus schedules are now in effect, so I updated the train and bus matrix to get you from Nagano Station (and by extension, onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada) to the monkey park trailhead, Kanbayashi, and back for an easy day trip.  (Note: This is just a partial schedule.  Check at the Information Center at Nagano Station for full train and bus schedules.)

We just had a visitor from Sydney, Australia make the trip. He said he ‘only’ took about 200 pictures of the monkeys. The snow made for a dramatic backdrop, especially on the walk from Kanbayashi through the beautiful evergreen forest.

2 Responses to “Jigokudani Snow Monkeys now with Snow!

  1. I am planning to visit Japan from 5th to 15th April from Brisbane. I checked the snow monkey cam earlier and at present there is some snow there. What are the chances of there still being some snow there in a few weeks time? Am considering also visiting matsumoto as well. Would it be easier to access from matsumoto or nagano city?

  2. Ann-san, Thank you for your inquiry, and your interest in Nagano. Regarding chances of snow at Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park in April, in 2013 on April 21st, we had a major snow storm. That was, however, relatively unusual. But it goes to show you how unpredictable the weather can be. We’ve had a larger than normal snow fall this year, so I would say your chances are higher than usual, especially the earlier in April as possible. The monkey park is a 45 minute bus ride + 30 minute walk from Nagano Station. If coming from Matsumoto, add a 52 minute express train trip in addition. Meanwhile, make sure to charge your camera’s batteries before going and be sure to have proper footwear for the walk. Have fun!

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