The Jigokudani Yaenkoen in Nagano Prefecture's Yamanouchi City is often called the Snow Monkey Park because you can see Japanese macaques using the natural hot springs there. The park has long been popular as a place you can see wild monkeys up close and personal. Many visitors from around the world come to see the monkeys enjoying the hot springs. We definitely recommend coming in winter, so you can see the lovable monkeys in the water.
Yamanouchi Snow Monkey Park
Jigokudani Yaenkoen is the Snow Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture. It is a facility created to observe the ecology of Japanese macaques. It is located in a valley in northern Nagano Prefecture. At 850 meters above sea level, it snows about a third of the year in this area. The steep slopes and cliffs and steam from the hot springs give it a hellish appearance, thus the name "Hell Valley", Jigokudani. Japanese macaques have lived wild in the area since ancient times. The Snow Monkey Park opened in 1964. It is popular with visitors from around the world as a place where you can see the interesting ecology of the Japanese macaques up close. The sight of the monkeys entering the hot springs is especially popular with tourists.
Seeing the Monkeys in the Hot Spring is the Main Point
The highlight of the Snow Monkey Park is seeing the wild monkeys in the hot spring. The park is known as a place where you can see monkeys in the hot springs, but that is just one of the ways that they make it through the harsh winters. They aren't always in the hot springs. In the warm seasons, they hardly ever go into the hot springs, so you can't see it then. Because the monkeys at the park are wild, there is no guarantee that the monkeys will be in the park while you visit, even though the park is open. Especially in the autumn, the group of monkeys are often not seen in the park. In the Snow Monkey Park, selfie sticks are forbidden. Also, this is not a public hot spring, so you can't get into the water with the monkeys.
Visitors' Guide to the Yamanouchi Snow Monkey Park
Open hours are from 08:30~17:00 in the summer (April - October), and from 9:00~16:00 in winter (November - March). The park is open year-round. The open hours are just guidelines, so they may vary due to the weather, season, behavior of the monkeys, etc. Entrance fees are: adults (18 up) 800 yen, children (elementary-high school age) 400 yen. Children 6 and under are free.
Access to the Yamanouchi Snow Monkey Park
From Tokyo, take the Hokuriku bullet train from Tokyo Station (about 79 minutes), to Nagano Station. Then change to the Nagano Railway Special Express (about 38 minutes) and get off at Yudanaka Station. Take the bus (about 15 minutes) and get off at the Kanbayashi Onsen bus stop and walk for about 35 minutes to arrive at Jigokudani Yaenkoen (Yamanouchi Snow Monkey Park).
- Spot name： Jigokudani Yaenkoen (Yamanouchi Snow Monkey Park) (地獄谷野猿公苑)
- Street Address：6845 Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano 381-0401
- Access：About 15 minutes by bus from Yudanaka Station, get off at the Kanbayashi Onsen bus stop and walk about 35 minutes
- Wi-Fi : Unavailable
- Language：Japanese Only
- Ticket：At entrance
- Credit cards：No Credit cards accepted