Hello, can anyone please advise which bus I need to take from Nozawa (or Iiyama Station) to get the the snow monkeys? I don’t want to join a tour, I’d prefer to do it in my own time, but need departure times etc to work out an itinerary. Thanks.
If you don’t want to take a tour bus to the Snow Monkey Park from Nozawa Onsen, then the best way to reach the snow monkeys is to take the Iiyama line train or Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano, then change to the Nagano Dentetsu line train or Shiga Kogen line bus from there.
- Take the Nozawa Onsen Liner (600 yen, 25 min.) from Nozawa to Iiyama Station
- Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen (1,360 yen, 11 min.) or Iiyama line train (530 yen, 47 min.) from Iiyama Station to Nagano Station
- Take the Nagano Dentetsu train line (1,160-1,260 yen, 47-72 min.) to Yudanaka Station, then take the Shiga Kogen line bus (310 yen, 10 min.) to the Snow Monkey Park bus stop. Or, take the Shiga Kogen line bus (1,400 yen, 47 min.) from Nagano Station to the Snow Monkey Park bus stop.
*For train timetables, use the Hyperdia Website.
For your return, there is one Shiga Kogen bus that connects Iiyama and the Snow Monkey Park. It leaves the Snow Monkey Park bus stop at 12:21 and reaches Iiyama Station at 13:00.
If you take the long route (Nozawa-Iiyama-Nagano-Yudanaka) both ways, then you may want to purchase the Snow Monkey Pass. It costs 3,500 yen and covers the park’s entrance fee and 2-day transportation along the Nagano Dentetsu train and Shiga Kogen bus line between Nagano and the Snow Monkey Park. If you do choose to buy the pass, I recommend making a stop at Obuse, which is along the Nagano Dentetsu train line between Nagano and Yudanaka.
I hope that helps answer your question!