My Trip to Japan's Snow Monkey Park

by - Saturday, June 16, 2018

I honestly knew nothing about the tourist attractions in Japan. It's one of the countries I've really been excited to visit, but just because I wanted to see the cherry blossoms (and eat lots and lots of Japanese food).

Thankfully, I went to Japan with my good friend Shar, who prepared the itinerary for our entire trip! And for our second day, we went to the Snow Monkey Park. 

We woke up early for our trip to Hakuba, since the trip will take hours! My friend purchased our bus tickets ahead of time (about a month prior to our trip), and here's how we got there:
  1. Shinjuku Station - where we got in our Willer Express bus to Nagano Station. This easily took up 4 hours of our time, but the bus was super comfy. I slept almost the entire time. TIP: buy take out food to eat while inside the bus.
  2. Nagano Station - Purchase the Snow Monkey 1-day Pass. This pass can not only get you inside the park, but also get you there through trains and buses. So make sure you hold on to it and keep it somewhere you can easily bring it out
  3. Take the train from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station.
  4. Take the bus to Bus Stop B
  5. Take a 15-min walk to the starting point of the "hike". You can also take your lunch at this area before you walk to the park.
  6. Take a 30-min walk to Snow Monkey Park.
For a more detailed guide on how to get to the Snow Monkey Park, check out my friend's blog here.

Walking From Bus Stop B to Starting Point
Mandatory Photo with My First Snow Experience!
Mandatory Photo of my first snow experience!

We were running a little late, so we got to the starting point after 12nn. We were already starving, and we had to stop for late lunch at Enza Cafe.

Enza Cafe
Ramen Set with Salad and Chicken Karaage (good for 2)
I can't remember exactly how much the ramen set cost, but I'm sure it was a bit expensive (more than 1,000 yen), which is why we ordered just 2 ramen sets for the 4 of us to share. Good thing we guessed right when we assumed that the ramen set would be enough for us. The taste also wasn't that bad, and it was perfect for the cold weather. An order also comes with a free drink (soda/ coffee).

Hot Chocolate

Since it was freezing cold and we weren't used to this weather, we were so tempted to have a cup of hot chocolate, which made us order one. We were also right on this one, as we all loved it! Make sure to order one on your trip.

Starting Point (photo from @Shar at

Hike Trail (photo from @Shar at

My time at the Snow Monkey Park was one of the highlights of my Japan trip. I enjoyed taking photos of the monkeys scattered around the area with the humans, not in any sort of cage, and just being monkeys.

The perfect time to visit this park is during winter, so you can catch a glimpse of the monkeys bathing in the onsen.

Photo by Shar
Photo by Shar
Of course, aside from spending time with the monkeys, another amazing thing about this place is how incredibly instagrammable it is! 

Make sure you include the Snow Monkey Park on your next trip to Japan

Hungry for more,

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