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Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen)
Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen)

Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen)

6845 Oaza Heion, Yamanouchi, Chubu

The Basics

The Jigokudani Monkey Park is in the Yokoyu River valley. It’s surrounded by steep cliffs that gush fountains of hot water—the park’s name, Jigokudani, means “Hell Valley.” At an altitude of 2,788 feet (850 meters), the valley gets very cold in winter, and the resident monkeys have found an ideal way to warm up: by bathing in the hot springs’ waters, just as people do all across Japan.

To reach the park without having to drive or read Japanese signs, join a guided tour. Nagano (which is about an hour’s drive from the park) is the most convenient place to visit from, but you can find trips that come from as far away as Tokyo and Kyoto.

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Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
$197.25 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great Private Tour
Great day trip spent with Toru to see the snow monkeys, Obuse and Zenkoji. His knowledge, experience and energy made it a fun filled day.
Alice, Feb 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Nagano

star-5
Monkeys, soba and saki!
sarahedonna, Jan 2020
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
WeiWei was wonderful and very knowledgeable about the local towns, foods, culture and monkeys :) She was very patient as we stayed with the monkeys for over an hour taking photos and observing them. We had a great time with her, and highly suggest booking a private tour, so you can go at your own pace with the monkeys, saki tasting, and a bit more of a local's experience.
star-5
Overall Experience
Edmundlee, Jul 2019
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
Tour guide was informational and thorough. He took us to a cherry farm and tasted some cherries fresh from the orchard. The Snow Monkey Park was something to experience. Tour guide was able to chase an overly aggressive monkey away. He took us to a Soba restaurant and it was delicious. We felt safe with his driving.
star-5
Our guide was delightful, she was...
Leslie F, Jul 2017
Explore Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with a Knowledgeable Local Guide
Our guide was delightful, she was very informative and her English is excellent. We really enjoyed the stroll through the trees where the clear water gushed alongside, very refreshing but the monkeys stole the show, there were so many of them just going about their business as if they hadn't even seen us. We saw several youngsters and really cute babies. We'll certainly remember our visit and would highly recommend it.
star-5
I have traveled the world from...
Sharon Ann W, Oct 2016
Explore Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with a Knowledgeable Local Guide
I have traveled the world from China, Egypt, Prague, Italy, Cuba and I have to say that visiting the Nagano Snow Monkey Park, with your guide Takeshi, was one of the most fabulous experiences of my life. I hope to return in the winter someday!
star-5
Overall Experience
Edmundlee, Jul 2019
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
Tour guide was informational and his recommendation for lunch was awesome. Took us to a cherry farm during our tour. This was a private tour. We felt safe with him. Even chased an overly aggressive snow monkey away.
star-5
Great experience, totally worth it
Keziah Rae B, Apr 2019
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
We had an amazing tour guide. Great experience, totally worth it. Perfect tour for groups and families.
star-4
Michiko was super nice and it was...
Heidi G, Feb 2017
Explore Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with a Knowledgeable Local Guide
Michiko was super nice and it was nice to have a guide take us to the monkey park. We were the only people on the tour which was great because we didn't have to wait for anyone else. I think this tour is best for people who are very new to Japan or not so frequent travellers, avid travellers can figure out this tour on their own with some online research. The cost doesn't include the entry into the park or the bus fare so keep that in mind. The monkey park itself it truly fantastic, the only thing that knocks a star is that I wish we had more time to take photos, 30 minutes went by so fast considering it takes about 45 minutes to walk there and another 45 to get back. The walk is beautiful though especially if it's been snowing lately, I would recommend snow boots if you have them as it can get icy and muddy, but I wore addidas and was fine too.
star-5
Our tour guide Mr Ilhom is...
lawkimwah, Feb 2018
Full-Day Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Monkey Park
Our tour guide Mr Ilhom is wonderful! He showed concern about our needs. And explained to us the itinerary very well. We made special request to the Strawberry farm, he checked and brought us there. What a great trip. We have lots of Strawberry! We also enjoyed the lunch he brought us to. Udon and Soba, was delicious. Not forgetting the dessert, Mont Blanc, my favourite! We wil recommend friends and come back again.
star-5
Michiko is a wonderful guide. She...
Jerry H, Apr 2017
Explore Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park with a Knowledgeable Local Guide
Michiko is a wonderful guide. She took us on a great tour of the Snow Monkey park in Jigokudani, helped us with the transportation and made us feel more like friends than just clients. We saw many monkeys up close - even within a foot or two or our legs. They are not at all afraid of humans. In addition to the pictures we took, Michiko took some of us and send us links to them. That was very thoughtful. We enjoyed the Sake tasting and the hot foot baths at the end of the tour. It was well worth the trip from Tokyo.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The park is not a zoo, and there are no barriers separating the monkeys from the visitors. Be careful how close you get to the animals—for their protection as well as your own.

  • There is no guarantee that you’ll see the monkeys; there may be no activity when you visit (regardless of the time of year).

  • You must pay a fee to enter the park, but kids under the age of 6 can visit for free.

  • The park is not wheelchair accessible, and guide dogs are not allowed.

  • There are no dining facilities at the park.

  • Selfie sticks are prohibited in the park.

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How to Get There

The park is roughly a 25-minute drive from the nearest large town, Nakano, and a ten-minute drive from the smaller town of Yudanaka. The nearest railway station is at Yudanaka, and there are buses from the station to the park. You can also book a guided tour of the park that includes transportation, which might be preferable during cold weather.

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When to Get There

The park is open every day of the year from mid-morning to mid-afternoon with slightly extended hours from April to October. There are no scheduled holidays, but the park sometimes closes unexpectedly due to weather conditions. Visitors can come at any time of year, but if your goal is to watch the monkeys bathe, plan a visit in the winter.

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Bathing at Yudanaka Onsen

While people can’t bathe at Jigokudani (it’s reserved for the monkeys), you can enjoy a nice soak in the town of Yudanaka, located a couple miles from the park. The mountain town’s hot springs have been used for hundreds of years, and there are a variety of places where you can enjoy a traditional soak, including a public bath located right at the train station.

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