Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
News
-
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Restaurants
-
Shopping
-
Budget Travel
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Chubu - Yamanouchi
Jigokudani Monkey Park 
# 1   of 4 most visited
sights in Yamanouchi

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  links

The Jigokudani Monkey Park offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring. The park is inhabited by Japanese Macaques, which are also known as Snow Monkeys. It is located in the monkey's natural habitat, in the forests of the Jigokudani valley in Yamanouchi, not far from the onsen towns of Shibu and Yudanaka.

The park has one man-made pool around which the monkeys gather, located a few minutes' walk from the park entrance. Visitors will likely already encounter monkeys along the path to the pool. The monkeys live in large social groups, and it can be quite entertaining to watch their interactions. Accustomed to humans, the monkeys can be observed from very close and almost completely ignore their human guests. Naturally, it is prohibited to touch or feed the monkeys.

The park has a small information center with information mostly in Japanese. However, there is a small explanation of the alpha male system of the monkey troop in English, as well as portraits of the park's present and former alpha males, dating back dozens of years. There is a live camera beside the monkey pool that is accessible online.

Tourists, a monkey sitting on the park's live video camera, and the monkey bath

Although the park is open all year round, the bathing monkeys are particularly photogenic when the area is covered in snow. There is usually snow in the region from December to March, and the best timing for a visit is January and February. Monkeys enter the bath around the year, but they sometimes need some encouragement to do so by park wardens throwing food into the pool, especially during the warmer seasons of the year.

Jigokudani, in which the park is located, means "hell valley" and is a common name for Japanese valleys with volcanic activity. Although its landscape is not as dramatic as some of Japan's other jigokudani valleys, Yamanouchi's Jigokudani does produce a few steaming hot springs. There is a ryokan called Korakukan in the valley, which visitors will pass along the way to the monkey park.

The approach through Jigokudani valley to the monkey park, passing Korakukan Ryokan, in different seasons

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
There are two approaches to the Monkey Park: one requires a 25-40 minute walk through the forest, while the other requires a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest parking lot.

The first approach involves taking a bus to Kanbayashi Onsen from Yudanaka Station (10-15 minutes, 310 yen, 1-2 buses per hour), Shibu Onsen (5-10 minutes, 190 yen, 1-2 buses per hour) or Nagano Station (40 minutes, 1400 yen, 4-10 buses per day). Buses along the Yudanaka-Kanbayashi Line stop at "Kanbayashi Onsen" bus stop, while other buses stop at "Kanbayashi Onsen-guchi" bus stop, a short walk away. From Kanbayashi Onsen, a 25-40 minute walking trail leads to the monkey park. The walking trail is passable around the year, but sturdy footwear is recommended especially in winter.

The alternative approach involves a 10-15 minute walk from a paid parking lot just to the west of the monkey park. However the narrow road from Shibu Onsen to the parking lot is not served by public transportation and gets closed in winter. Although rather time consuming, it would be possible to walk to the parking lot from Shibu Onsen in about 45-60 minutes when there is no snow.

Some hotels and ryokan in Yudanaka and Shibu offer free shuttle buses to the parking lot for their guests.

How to get to and around Yamanouchi

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (April to October)
9:00 to 16:00 (November to March)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:500 yen

Advertisement

Hotels and Ryokan
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Shibu Hotel, Nagano
Shibu Hotel is a charming Japanese ryokan in Shibu Onsen. Nearby attractions in this Nagano town include Jigokudani Monkey Park, famous for its snow monkeys.
Wafu-no Yado Masuya
Free shuttle to Monkey Park. The dinner won Best 100 hotel award. Tasteful en-suite Japanese rooms. 100% natural onsen.
Hotel Shirakaba-so
3 min to the gate of Shiga Kogen ski resort. Free internet, private bath and outdoor bath. 45 min to the Monkey Park.
Kokuya Hotel
Rooms with open air hot bath on balcony! 3min from Yudanaka st. - free pick up, shuttle to Monkey park, English speaking staff.
Yudanaka Seifu-so
A traditional ryokan with wooden building by Yudanaka Station. Unique onsen - private, open-air, apple, leaf baths etc.
Senshinkan Matsuya
Authentic, wooden ryokan in Shibu Onsen. Internet WiFi available. Offering a shuttle to Monkey Park and Yudanaka Station.

User Ratings
Ratings for Monkey Park:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 55 users):
93/100
  highly recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 782):
24.  Sefa Utaki (Okinawa Island)   93/100
25.  Todaiji Temple (Nara)   93/100
26.  Climbing Mount Fuji (Mount Fuji)   93/100
27.  Himeji Castle (Himeji)   93/100
28.  Hot Springs (Kinosaki)   93/100
29.  Monkey Park (Yamanouchi)   93/100
30.  Taketomi Island (Yaeyama Islands)   93/100
31.  Uji Tea (Uji)   93/100
32.  Peace Park (Hiroshima)   93/100
33.  Okunoin Temple (Mount Koya)   92/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
479.  Temple Walk (Onomichi)   98
480.  Tamozawa Villa (Nikko)   98
481.  Nagashima Resort (Nagoya)   97
482.  Nachi Taisha (Kumano)   96
483.  Iriomote Island (Yaeyama Islands)   95
484.  Monkey Park (Yamanouchi)   95
485.  Furano Ski Area (Furano)   95
486.  Kumano Kodo (Kumano)   94
487.  Iimoriyama (Aizu)   94
488.  Entsuin Temple (Matsushima)   94

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Jigokudani Yaen-koen
Official English website of the monkey park with live video camera of the monkey bath.

Japanese Links
Jigokudani Yaen-koen
Official website of the monkey park with live video camera of the monkey bath.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
September 18
Kurodake
more reports...

News and Reports
October 5, 2012
Route 292 Autumn Color Report
by sean

Related Questions
Matsumoto to Jigokudani Monkey Park
 1 reaction, last updated 10 days ago
Kusatsu Onsen to Yamanouchi monkey park
 3 reactions, last updated 11 days ago
Travel from Shibu Onsen to Alpen-route
 2 reactions, last updated 135 days ago
Jigokudani Monkey Park to Yudanaka
 1 reaction, last updated 157 days ago
Walking road Jigokudani
 2 reactions, last updated 166 days ago
Transport from shiga kogen to tokyo at...
 1 reaction, last updated 184 days ago
Jigokudani - when to visit?
 4 reactions, last updated 199 days ago
Accommodation close to jigokudani monkey...
 2 reactions, last updated 245 days ago
Onsens & Snow Monkeys (April/May)
 2 reactions, last updated 250 days ago
Visiting the Snow Monkeys in Nagano
 1 reaction, last updated 260 days ago
Map code for GPS for Monkey onsen park
 2 reactions, last updated 265 days ago
Shiga-Kogen Skiing
 1 reaction, last updated 270 days ago
Narita to Shiga Kogen
 2 reactions, last updated 281 days ago
Bus schedule from Yudanaka - shibu onsen
 2 reactions, last updated 283 days ago
Monkey Park - which way to walk
 1 reaction, last updated 284 days ago
Jigokudani monkey park
 5 reactions, last updated 310 days ago
Tokyo to Yudanaka options
 2 reactions, last updated 322 days ago
Snow monkeys
 1 reaction, last updated 356 days ago
Snow Monkeys
 3 reactions, last updated 369 days ago
Visiting Snow Monkeys
 1 reaction, last updated 375 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: August 26, 2014
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising