Hello, this is Alice!
I haven't update any artical for a while, and this artical will be my first one in 2016.
And this was my first trip in 2016 as well.
I was wondering to go to Nagano for Monkeys in onsen from 2 years ago. I almost ready to go, but the snows… all the trains & buses were cancelled during that period when I schedule to go, therefore, I had to cancelled it.
This year, it is Monkey year(2016)! It reminds me that I have to go and see the monkeys in onsen. So I just checked my work shift and school schedule very quickly, then I bought my bus tickets & booked the hotel in a very short time.
I took a night bus from Tokyo station around midnight, and I arrived Nakano station in the early morning next day. I went to a Internet Cafe for a shower and short rest, then I start my trip.
I bought a Snow Monkey 1 Day Pass(2900yen), and the staff at station told me that I have to transfer to another train to Yudanaka station(湯田中駅). It was a very special experience for me, because I was fell into sleep on the train, and kind of rushed to another train when I saw my exactly train stopped at another platform… Also the trains in Nagano are so different, I even don't know how to open the door till I found a door was open in anther carriage. Well, it's not a bad experience, just surprised me a lot!
After I arrived Yadanaka station, I need to take a bus to Snow Monkey Park. If you are not using a pass like me, then don't forget to get a ticket when you get on the bus, this ticket is kind of record to know where you get on the bus, and how much you have to pay when you get off.
After get off from the bus, need to walk a while, and you can see smokes from the gutter. I have touched it, not sure it's onsen water or not, but it's warm!
On the way, you can see the signboard for Snow Monkey Park, to direct you the way to monkeys.
Before the entrance, you will see a goods shop and this signborad.
To telling you, are you ready for this area? and do you have enough cloths to keep you warm?
If not, they do have rental/sale it at the shop.
Yes, found the way to enter to this area!
It's about 25-30min walk, and it's a little bit wet on the ground, it may slipped when you are walking on the leaves.
There is a onsen place called Jigokudani Spa. Sometimes monkeys are in their onsen as well!
(I saw the picture of monkeys in the onsen on their website!)
Ok, another entrance again! This is for Snow Monkeys! It takes another 5min walk to the gate, where you have to buy a ticket to see the monkeys.
Rules for entering monkeys area…
Finally, monkeys everywhere, but not in onsen… Sad…
The weather was not cold enough for them to be in the onsen, therefore, only a few of them always in there. Maybe 1-2 monkeys in the onsen at the same time, and hundreds of monkeys are everywhere(outside of onsen bath).
Monkeys looks very enjoying to be in the onsen.
That's the onsen bath area, where monkeys could stay in the onsen. And you can see many people around them to see their enjoyed face!
Their actions are so funny, I can't stop to taking pictures of them.
Actually, I saw a monkey tried to catch a chain from someone's bag, even the person and his friends were not notice it. They just keep walking, and the monkey gave up the end for about 1min trying…
After monkeys, I was thinking to be in a onsen as well. So I back to Jigokudani Spa.
Unfortunately, they accept daily guest to use their facility from 12:00 to 15:00, and I was there around 10:30. There is no place where I can wait till they open, you know, it maybe not cold for the monkeys, but it was cold for me if I only standing outside for 1 hour…
Well, I was hungry too… So I decided to leave monkeys area…
There is a resturant between bus stop to the goods shop, and I ordered a Ramen there.
It was so tasted! Oishii~~~
From Yudanaka station to Snow Monkey Park, you will pass this area called Shibu Onsen(渋温泉). I heard it is famous, so I went there to see how it looks like.
It was very quiet, and I could do selfie photo as moch as I want!
I love the atmosphere there, very quiet and traditional alley.
Onsen everywhere, but I'm not staying at any hotel there, so I couldn't use it.
I know there is a onsen pass for day trip guest, but I couldn't find the place to buy it…
(Why you don't ask someone there? –> Well, there is no one there, even stores were closed…)
After walk around this area, I found a foot onsen, where I can relax my foot!
You can see, no one around, that's my private foot onsen! LOL
This foot onsen bath has 4 areas, different block has different temperature, and there is a notice with Japanese & English, to telling you the story of this foot onsen, and start from which block is better for you.
After foot onsen there are some towels hanging near, to dry your foot. It looks clean! But if you are really care of it, please use your own towel, that's no problem!
Onsen Tamago, the onsen eggs selling in a corner, it is 50yen for 1 egg. No staff around, so please put the coin in the small basket, and you can take one!
I love this kind of onsen egg, soft and taste good!
But it's not easy to have it when you are walking, please stop somewhere to finish it, then you can continue to adventure this town.
This is an old and famous Ryokan where I want to stay at least once in my life.
It has more than 250years history, and it was one of the inspirations and models for the Ghibli animated movie, Spirited Away(千と千尋の神隠し).
I couldn't take a night time picture, but it's ok! I believed that I will be able to stay there once in the near future! Then I will be able to take more photos.
One of the stores was open when I was there. Doraemon is hiding behind the fence and say Hi to people!
Shibu Onsen mark!
And monkey in a bath!
After Shibu Onsen, I walked back to Yudanaka station.
There is a onsen place behind the station, and it's only 300yen. Tickets are available at the entrance, there is a ticket machine, very convenient. There is an inside bath, and also a outside bath. And hair dryer is free.
After onsen, there is a rest area, where you can see the trains running. I took this photo at this onsen place, and after this photo, I was running to station and took this train back to Nagano station.
This is Snow Monkey Express, this train was original used for Narita express in Tokyo!
The seat is more comfortable than local train, I was falling to sleep again on this train.
Arrived Nagano station!
I went to the information center at Nagano station, and the old lady gave me Origami as a souvenir. She said, these all made by her grandson.
Origami has many different colors, so pretty!
My dinner! It's Souce Katsu(ソースかつ) & Basashi(馬刺し), Basashi is raw horse meat!
Both are famous in Nagano!
I ate too much, and the souce katsu was so delicious too!
After dinner, I feel tired again… It was a long day for me, I arrived Nagano in the early morning, saw the monkeys in onsen at mountain area, enjoyed foot onsen at Shibu Onsen area. Finally in a real onsen place before I back to Nagano city. So much interesting things, and did a lot of sightseeing in one day!
If you are interested in my Nagano short trip, please wait a little bit because I will have Nagano Trip Day 2 artical soon!
Thank you for reading it, and hope you like it!
If you have enough time during your trip in Japan, I recommend you to manage a short 2days trip to Nagano! It's fun!
If you are interested in my Nagano Trip Day 2, please click the link below.
Nagano Trip Day 2 – Nagano City!
*Dorm bed only 2300yen/night, Private 3700yen～, cheapest hostel in west Tokyo, Nakano.
YADOYA Guesthouse for Backpackers D (3min walk):
*Dorm bed start from 2500yen~3000yen/night.
YADOYA Guesthouse Tokyo for long stay:
*Dorm bed only 40,000yen/month(including utilities), private room from 45,000yen/month. It`s nice to live in Nakano, and we support your Tokyo life!