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How to Spend 1 Day in Nagano

How to Spend 1 Day in Nagano

A mountainous area that’s popular with skiers in winter and hikers throughout the rest of the year, Nagano is also famous for its cute “snow monkeys,” Japanese macaques that bathe in natural hot springs in winter. One day is just enough time to see the local wildlife, soak in the hot springs, and enjoy some local cuisine. Here’s how to get the most out of one day in Nagano.

Morning: Snow Monkeys of Yamanouchi

Head out first thing to Yamanouchi, less than an hour’s drive northeast of Nagano city, to the hot springs of Jigokudani Monkey Park. The macaques here aren’t trained monkeys, but instead wild animals that love a hot bath as much anyone. Many private and small-group half- and full-day tours visit the park as part of a wider area itinerary, and winter is the best time to see the animals. 

Afternoon: Soak or Take a Hike

If you’re visiting in winter, you might want to warm up yourself after seeing the monkeys. While you can’t hop in with the furry mammals, you can indulge in hot springs in the nearby resort towns of Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen. If you’re visiting at another time of year, spend the afternoon hiking or driving in the hills: The nearby Shiga-kogen Highlands are located within Joshinetsu-kogen National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some lovely walks and valley views.

Night: Dinner at an Izakaya

Head back into Nagano city this evening and enjoy a relaxed dinner at a local izakaya, or Japanese pub-restaurant. Local specialties to look out for include buckwheat soba noodles,oyaki dumplings, pickled mustard leaves, and—although perhaps not to everyone’s taste—horse sashimi. Nagano has a fairly low-key nightlife scene, but if you’re not ready to call it a night, stop for a nightcap at a different izakaya or the town’s popular British pub.

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6 Tours and Activities | All Nagano Tours

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Full-Day Tour of Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple and Sake in Nagano

Full-Day Tour of Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple and Sake in Nagano

star-5
See two of the top attractions near Nagano on this full-day excursion. Explore the tranquil grounds of Zenko-ji, a lovely religious site known for its historic Buddhist statue. Enjoy a sake tasting and lunch before heading down a beautiful forest trail to the home of the snow monkeys, a group of local macaques known for their willingness to live in the snow and bathe in the local hot spring.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$163.81
From
$163.81
Taking safety measures

Nagano Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Nagano Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

star-5
Pair up with a Nagano local for a private walking tour that’s a new concept in travel. Unlike traditional, pre-packaged tours, it’s like exploring the city alongside a local friend, complete with tips, advice, and insider recommendations. From a pre-tour chat with your Lokafyer guide to the walking tour itself, the experience is completely tailored to your preferences.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.90
Price varies by group size
From
$35.90
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

(Spring only) 1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano

(Spring only) 1-Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossoms in Nagano

star-5
Check out Japan’s famous cherry blossom blooms and see snow monkeys on a full-day trip from Nagano. After visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park, you’ll stop for lunch, then visit several different ‘hanami’ spots to admire the cherry blossom trees. This seasonal experience runs from April to the end of May, allowing you to take in the later blooms of the mountainous northern Nagano region.
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  • 9 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$163.81
From
$163.81
Taking safety measures

Jan 15th Only Tour: Nozawa Fire Festival & Snow Monkey from Hakuba & Nagano

Jan 15th Only Tour: Nozawa Fire Festival & Snow Monkey from Hakuba & Nagano

star-5
In the middle of the cold winter, there is one festival that will surely keep you warm at night! The Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival, called 'Dosojin Matsuri' in Japanese, is one the three great fire festivals in Japan, taking place each winter in the picturesque village of one of Nagano's most popular ski resorts. This lively tour takes you to the Fire Festival in combination with a visit to the world-famous hot spring-bathing snow monkeys of Jigokudani - a day and night that will leave you with burning memories of the tradition, culture, and snow monkeys of Nagano!
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$209.00
From
$209.00
Taking safety measures

Onsen Town Walking Tour in Nagano Group

Onsen Town Walking Tour in Nagano Group

【OUTLINE】 Take a walk around the Onsen district of Togura Kamiyamada. A local guide will explain life in the Japanese countryside while stopping at various local specialty shops. For example: You can take a lesson on how to make delicious green tea at a tea shop, learn about Japanese clothes at a clothier, learn the local cuisine of river fish at a Kanroni (a preserved food made by cooking fish, shellfish, kelps, etc. in sweetened soy sauce) shop. Lastly, have soft ice cream while taking a footbath. The tour will provide fascinating insights into the people and way of life in this onsen town.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.98
From
$45.98
Taking safety measures

Nagano Full-Day Cycling Tour with Snow Monkey, Obuse Town, Apple Orchards

Nagano Full-Day Cycling Tour with Snow Monkey, Obuse Town, Apple Orchards

star-5
Experience the nature and culture of beautiful Nagano on this all-day excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, head out with an informative local guide and bicycle through apple orchards along the Chikuma River, watch macaques bathe in their natural habitat at Snow Monkey Park, relax in a hot spring at Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen villages, and treat yourself to delicious chestnuts in Obuse.
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  • 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$189.11
Price varies by group size
From
$189.11
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures