- Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique
- Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and experience Nagano’s renowned food culture
- Spend an afternoon wandering beneath the cherry blossoms and experience the Japanese tradition ‘hanami’ or ‘flower viewing’ as we take you to some of Nagano’s best blossom sites, each selected for the quality of their bloom on the day of your tour
|Period||Apr. 5 - Apr. 20|
|Destination||Takato Park Matsumoto Castle|
|Start / End||Nagano Station / Nagano Station|
|Operator||Snow Monkey Resorts|
Blooming every spring, Japan’s fabled cherry blossoms are stunning to behold and at the top of many international visitor’s must-see lists. Starting from JR Nagano Station, this one-day only tour transports you to Takato Castle Park – heralded as one of the Top 3 blossom-viewing spots in all of Japan! Located on the ruins of Takato Castle, the park was first opened to the public in 1875 and now boasts an estimated 1500 cherry blossom trees – forecast to be in full bloom on the day of the tour. Also including a stop at Matsumoto Castle, a registered National Treasure, this tour is a convenient and fun way to enjoy of one of Japan’s most famous blossom-viewing spots in combination with one of the last remaining Japanese castles.
09:35 Meetup with your guide at JR Nagano Station.
The tour begins at JR Nagano Station at 9:35, where your English-speaking guide (who will be waiting for you from 9:20) will greet you and quickly have you on your way out of Nagano and headed toward the Jigokudani Monkey Park.
10:50 Welcome to the Snow Monkey area!
Arriving nearby the park, your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads you to the Jigokudani Valley – rather dramatically translating to `Hell`s Valley`. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.
11:20 Arrive at the Snow Monkey park
Spring is a great time to visit the park as expecatant mothers give birth from mid-April to late-May, with up to 20 to 30 babies welcomed into the troop every year. It’s an adorable and endearing sight to see, as the large glassy eyes of the newborns look-out at their world for the first time, often with intense curiosity about the human visitors in the park!
12:20 Meetup with your guide and walk back out of the park along the forest trail.
After observing the monkeys in their natural habitat. Depart the park and head towards lunch restaurant
13:00 Enjoy lunch at a restaurant nearby the park
From there it’s time to head to lunch as your guide accompanies you to a nearby restaurant to enjoy Nagano’s renowned food culture. Your guide is always happy to talk food as you relax and get ready for the afternoon’s activity – ‘hanami’.
13:45 Leave the lunch restaurant
'Hanami’ or ‘flower viewing’ plays a central role in Japanese culture, and there is no flower is more synonymous with this beautiful country more than the cherry blossom. Known as ‘sakura’ in Japanese, the fleeting bloom of these stunning flowers each spring is seen as symbolic of the fragility and passing beauty of life.
We monitor the blooming of the cherry blossoms at a variety of sites and select the best location to view them for each tour, meaning that the location will vary from day-to-day but is always selected to give guests the best possible experience!
17:30 Arrival back to Nagano Station where the tour concludes.
The tour concludes at Nagano Station
Nagano Station - At the Information Board across from the Shinkansen exit gates
- Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
- Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
- English-speaking guide
- Bullet train tickets
- Please wear suitable shoes for the walking forest trail.
- There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
- Newborn babies typically appear in the park from mid-April onward. We cannot however guarantee that babies will be present in the park on the day of your tour.
- Blossom-viewing sites are selected upon which is in best condition on the day of the tour. Chosen site/s for an individual tour cannot therefore be confirmed until the morning of that tour.
- In the case that the cherry blossoms are not in bloom at any of the above-mentioned sites on the day of the tour, we will instead take you to
- Zenko-ji Temple and ‘sake’ tasting. In that case, we will notify you of the change in itinerary a minimum of 2 days in advance.
- Infants (0-5) is free of charge. A infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
- The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.