Access and Orientation

How to travel between Yamanouchi and Nagano

The Snow Monkey Pass is a discount ticket for foreign tourists that combines unlimited use of Nagaden trains and buses between Nagano and Yamanouchi with admission to the monkey park for 2900 yen. The pass is valid on one calendar day and covers are all trains between Nagano and Yudanaka (including limited express trains), express buses between Nagano and Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi and local buses between Yudanaka and Kanbayashi Onsen. It can be purchased at Nagaden Nagano Station.

Another pass of interest can be the Nagano Snow Resort Pass.

By train

Nagaden (Nagano Electric Railways) 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

Nagaden operates express buses between Nagano (Nagano Station, bus stop number 3 at the East Exit) 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 Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi (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.

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

 
Orientation

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 "Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi" bus stop as opposed to the "Kanbayashi Onsen" bus stop, which is a few steps closer to the trailhead.

Furthermore, Nagaden express buses connect Nagano Station directly with Shiga Kogen (4 buses/day in summer, about 10 buses/day in winter). These buses do not stop in central Yudanaka or Shibu, but they stop at Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi (40 minutes, 1400 yen one way) from where the 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. Outside of winter, one bus per day continues all the way to Mount Shirane from where a different bus connects to Kusatsu Onsen.

Winter Map of Shiga Kogen:

Last updated: August 26, 2014
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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.