Access and Orientation

How to get to Yamanouchi

Most visitors to Yamanouchi will access the town from Nagano City (how to get to Nagano).

A useful pass for visiting Yamanouchi is the "Snow Monkey Pass", a discount ticket available from early December to late March that combines unlimited use of Nagaden trains and buses between Nagano and Yamanouchi with admission to the monkey park for 3200 yen. The pass is valid on one calendar day and covers all trains between Nagano and Yudanaka (including limited express trains), express buses between Nagano and the Snow Monkey Park bus stop and local buses between Yudanaka and Kanbayashi Onsen. It can be purchased at Nagaden Nagano Station.

Another pass worth considering during winter is the Nagano Snow Resort Pass.

By train from Nagano

Nagaden (Nagano Electric Railway) operates one to two trains per hour between Nagano (underground Nagaden Nagano Station, next to JR Nagano Station) and Yamanouchi (Yudanaka Station). About half of the trains are local (70 minutes, 1160 yen one way, one transfer at Shinshu-Nakano Station along the way) and half are limited express (50 minutes, 1260 yen one way, direct). The trains are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

By express bus from Nagano

Nagaden operates express buses between Nagano (bus stop number 3 at the East Exit of Nagano Station) and Shiga Kogen. There are four buses per day in summer and around ten buses per day in winter. The buses do not stop in central Yudanaka or Shibu Onsen, but they stop at the Snow Monkey Park bus stop (40 minutes, 1400 yen one way) from where the Jigokudani Monkey Park can be reached. In Shiga Kogen, all buses stop at Hasuike (70 minutes, 1700 yen), and some continue in direction of either Oku Shiga Kogen or Mount Yokoteyama.

By bus from Kusatsu Onsen

Outside of winter, Yamanouchi and Kusatsu Onsen are connected with each other by bus via Mount Shirane. However, due to the heightened alert level at Mount Shirane, the buses are currently not operating.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.


Yamanouchi is a municipality in northern Nagano Prefecture. Western Yamanouchi is relatively flat and consists of the area's populated areas, including the hot spring resort towns of Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen. East of those towns, Yamanouchi becomes mountainous and only sparsely populated. This is where the Jigokudani Monkey Park and Shiga Kogen are located.

Trains go only as far as Yudanaka Station. From Yudanaka Station, there are bus lines to Shiga Kogen (about one bus per hour) and Kanbayashi Onsen (also about one bus per hour). Both bus lines stop at Shibu Onsen and then at Kanbayashi Onsen, from where a hiking trail leads to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Note that buses along the Shiga Kogen line stop at the "Snow Monkey Park (Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi)" bus stop as opposed to the "Kanbayashi Onsen" bus stop, which is a few steps closer to the trailhead.

Map of Shiga Kogen in winter:

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Hotels around Yamanouchi

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  • The Ryokan

Hishiya Torazo

An authentic onsen ryokan in Shibu Onsen, established in 1843. From 6500Yen. Wi-Fi in lobby. Cute yukata available for ladies. Free transfer to Monkey Park.


Jinpyokaku Honten

An authentic onsen ryokan with six rooms. Closest to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Free Wi-Fi and shuttle from Yudanaka Station. Rooms with onsen bath available.

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Page last updated: October 19, 2016