Getting to the Snow Monkeys in Yamanouchi, Nagano

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Yamanouchi Town, Nagano Prefecture.

In recent years the 'snow monkeys' of Jigokudani have become world famous with people from all corners of the globe arriving in Yamanouchi to see them close up, playing and relaxing in the onsen hot springs.

On this page Introduction
Getting to Jigokudani by train
Getting to Jigokudani by car
How far are the monkeys from...?
Maps and other resources

The Jigokudani Yaenkoen Monkey Park opened in 1964 and since then people have been visiting to observe the the Japanese Macaque. up close The Japanese Macaque is a monkey species native to northern Japan, and is the most northern-living non-human primate, surviving winter temperatures of below -15 °C. They have brown-grey fur, a red face, hands and bottom, and a short tail - and often seem remarkably human like...

Wild monkeys can sometimes be seen around many snow regions of Honshu. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to be driving along and see some walking by the side of the road. Those monkeys are somewhat wilder than the monkeys found at Jigokudani, where you are almost guaranteed sightings.... the Jigokudani monkeys seem to enjoy the onsen hot springs and also the food that is provided!

More information on the Snow Monkey Park in this feature on SnowJapan

The monkey park is located in Yamanouchi town, at the base of the Shiga Kogen ski and snowboard region.

They are now so popular with foreign visitors that day trips to the park are available from popular ski and snowboard resort areas like Hakuba, Myoko, Nozawa Onsen and further afield. It is probably worth asking your accommodation if they have any specific tour recommendation.

It's recommended that you have at least two hours. Don't forget to take your camera!

Jigokudani is open throughout the year.

Getting to the Jigokudani Monkey Park by train:

From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano Station.
From Nagano Station, take the Nagano-sen (Nagaden) train to Yudanaka Station.
From Yudanaka Station, take a bus or taxi to Kanbayashi Onsen.
From there, it's about a 30 minute walk to the Jigokudani Yaen-koen entrance.

Getting to the Jigokudani Monkey Park by car:

Exit the Joshinentsu Expressway at the Shinshu Nakano IC.
Follow Route 292 towards Shiga Kogen.
Before starting the climb up to the Shiga Kogen resort areas, you will see a sign on the left for Kanbayashi Onsen and the monkey park. 
Park your car and then walk to the Jigokudani Yaen-koen entrance (about 30 minutes).

How far is the Snow Monkey Park from...?

Resort area Distance by road
Shiga Kogen about 10km (to the first resort area, Sun Valley)
Madarao Kogen (Nagano) about 30km
Nozawa Onsen (Nagano) about 34km
Myoko Kogen (Niigata) about 42km
Central Nagano City (Nagano) about 42km
Sugadaira (Nagano) about 53km
Hakuba (Nagano) about 88km (Hakuba station area)
Yuzawa (Niigata) about 88km (central Yuzawa)

There is only one way to get to the Shiga Kogen resorts during the winter season - via Route 292 from central Yamanouchi. So please refer to the Shiga Kogen Travel Guides (by train : by car) for more specific travel information on how to get there. The Jigokudani Monkey Park is located about 10km before the nearest of the Shiga Kogen resorts.