Things to do in Nagano

Our most recommended things to do in Nagano

Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

1. Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

A great tour for all seasons, this is a 1-day guided tour of the most famous attractions of Nagano City and Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley”, home of the Snow Monkeys. Take a scenic route to see the cutest monkeys in the world, then experience the tranquility of Zenkoji Temple and lively Nakamise shopping street. For guests traveling from Hakuba, from December through March, your journey can begin with a shuttle from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal at 7:55 AM; otherwise, meet your guide at Nagano Station at 9:35 AM (please be at your chosen pickup point in advance of the meetup time as the tour needs to depart on-time). Famous for being the temple to hold the first Buddhist statue in Japan. Zenkoji Temple has a special energy and welcomes people of all faiths and religions. The temple grounds are beautiful and tranquil; there are hidden gems to explore, such as the dark tunnel running under the temple, said to be where you can gain enlightenment by finding the “Key To Paradise”. After lunch, return to Nagano Station again by public transport and take local bus from there to the Snow Monkeys. World-famous for their rare habit of soaking in the hot spring and living in the snow, these amazing macaques will let you get really close to them for some great photo opportunities and an unforgettable experience. After saying goodbye to the snow monkeys, stroll back along the tranquil forest trail to a delicious lunch at the restaurant near the trail exit. After seeing the Snow Monkeys, head to the local Japanese sake brewery to try various types of sake maybe even find a nice souvenir for yourself.

1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

2. 1 Day Tour: Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen

Enjoy a day out playing on the slopes of Shiga Kogen. Sample delicious Japanese or Western food for lunch and capture unforgettable pictures of the adorable snow monkeys of Jigokudani. Meet your guide at Nagano or Yudanaka station. Board the tour bus and head straight to the mountains of Shiga Kogen, Japan and Asia's largest and highest ski resort. Upon arrival, spend 1.5 hours enjoying the snow. Whizz down the mountain on a snowscoot, snowdrive, sled, or tube. After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at a restaurant adjoining the ski slopes. Choose from a daily menu of traditional Japanese fare and Western favorites. After lunch, board the tour vehicle for the short journey out of the mountains and onto the Snow Monkey Park. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, the monkeys of Jigokudani have achieved global fame and observing them going about their monkey business is a real treat.  Finally, return to the station after a snow-filled adventure that promises to leave a lasting impression. 

Nozawa: Full-Day Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour on Jan 15

3. Nozawa: Full-Day Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour on Jan 15

Your tour begins with pickup from one of two locations: Hakuba’s Happo Bus Terminal at 11:45 AM or JR Nagano Station at 1 PM. After meeting your guide, you’ll hit the road and head towards Yamanouchi, home to the only hot spring-bathing monkeys in the world, Japanese snow monkeys.  After arriving near the monkey park area at 2 PM, your guide will lead you along a snow-covered forest trail to the park itself. Found deep inside Jigokudani, or “Hell’s Valley”, your guide will explain the history and importance of the park and give you plenty of time to enjoy the unique experience of observing the snow monkeys in close proximity. Then enjoy an early dinner at a nearby restaurant where you’ll learn all about Nagano’s renowned food culture. Next, you’ll head to Nozawa Onsen, where you’ll witness one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. After arriving at around 6 PM, you’ll have ample time to explore the village before the main event begins. Preparations start at 7 PM with singing, drumming, fireworks, and more. Then it’s time for the main event, during which the town will converge on a wooden shrine. Fueled by tradition, bravado, and drinking, the mock battle takes place with an explosion of embers. After the gods have been deemed happy and ready to bless the villagers with good luck, harvest, and happiness, the shrine will be set on fire at 10 PM.  At 10:45 PM you’ll regroup with your guide at the designated meeting point and be transported back to your original pickup point.

Japan: Pocket WiFi-Kansai International Airport

4. Japan: Pocket WiFi-Kansai International Airport

Access the internet all the time in Japan with our 4G LTE pocket WiFi! No more hassle of looking for free public WiFi spots or staying out of the internet connection. Enjoy safe access, simple to use, and easy pick-up/return by Ninja WiFi. It can connect five devices at the same time. You can share it with people you are traveling with and your multiple devices. Pick up at our counter located at Kansai International Airport, and you can access the internet as soon as you arrive in Japan. Return is also easy. You can drop it off at our counter at major international airports in Japan or mail it back. Make your experience in Japan much more convenient with WiFi on the go! Get a plan that suits you; the choices of flexible plans from 5 to 30 days.

Welcome to Nagano: Private Tour with a Local

5. Welcome to Nagano: Private Tour with a Local

Get an exclusive welcome to Nagano on a private tour with a local guide. Transform your way of traveling to make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see.  Follow your friendly local as they share their passion for the place they live. Learn all the tricks to make the most of the city and get tips on the best things to see. Meet in the neighborhood where you are staying to get familiar with the best places to eat and buy groceries. Hear about the easiest ways to get around, and the top things to do. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable and confident navigating the city on your own, secure in the knowledge that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay!

Japan: Pocket WiFi -Pick-up at Narita Terminal 1

6. Japan: Pocket WiFi -Pick-up at Narita Terminal 1

Access the internet all the time in Japan with our 4G LTE pocket WiFi! No more hassle of looking for free public WiFi spots or staying out of the internet connection. Enjoy safe access, simple to use, and easy pick-up/return by Ninja WiFi. It can connect five devices at the same time. You can share it with people you are traveling with and your multiple devices. Pick up at our counter located at Narita International Airport. You can access the internet as soon as you arrive in Japan. Return is also easy. You can drop it off at our counter at major international airports in Japan. Make your experience in Japan much more convenient with WiFi on the go! Get a plan that suits you; the choices of flexible plans from 5 to 30 days.

Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

7. Nagano: 1-Day Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom Tour in Spring

This tour takes you from JR Nagano Station to the world-famous Jigokudani snow monkeys and to some of the most beloved cherry blossom viewing spots in Nagano. Seeing the blooming cherry blossoms (called hanami in Japanese) is one of the most Japanese things one can do whilst being in the land of the rising sun. Located in a chilly, mountainous region, northern Nagano’s blossoms start blooming later than those in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto. Every year, the blossoms normally come into bloom from the middle of April. Nagano is not as famous as an aforementioned city but has many lovely places where you can see the brightly colored flowers. If you wish to get off the beaten track and see the wild monkeys and cherry blossoms on the same day, this tour is perfect for you. First, you will be taken to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where you can observe the wild Japanese macaques at an incredibly close distance. April is generally the month when newborn babies arrive to the Jigokudani monkey troop. Usually there are 20 to 30 babies born every spring, and it’s endearing to see the newborns taking their first step and climb. After being filled by a Japanese lunch, the tour will take you to the hanami spots where cherry blossoms can be seen. The spots are selected depending on the degree of bloom of the blossoms on the tour date. Each spot has different types of cherry blossoms with overall more than 500 to 1000 sakura trees. Experience the yearly tradition to welcome spring in full. After enjoying the cherry blossoms, you will be taken to the train that takes you back to JR Nagano Station. The tour is scheduled to conclude at JR Nagano Station by 6:30 PM. Don’t miss this special opportunity to witness Japan’s beautiful spring.

Japan: Pocket WiFi-Shinjuku Counter

8. Japan: Pocket WiFi-Shinjuku Counter

Access the internet all the time in Japan with our 4G LTE pocket WiFi! No more hassle of looking for free public WiFi spots or staying out of the internet connection. Enjoy safe access, simple to use, and easy pick-up/return by Ninja WiFi. It can connect five devices at the same time. You can share it with people you are traveling with and your multiple devices. Pick up at our counter located in the center of Shinjuku, Tokyo. You can access the internet as soon as you arrive in Japan. Return is also easy. You can drop it off at our counter at major international airports in Japan or mail it back. Make your experience in Japan much more convenient with WiFi on the go! Get a plan that suits you; the choices of flexible plans from 5 to 30 days.

Other Sightseeing Options in Nagano

Want to discover all there is to do in Nagano? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Nagano

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 131 reviews

Could not be happier! The tour was perfectly paced, the things included were terrific, the food was wonderful, the guides were exceptional, friendly and professional and the monkeys were AMAZING! So happy! Thanks!

Most amazing guide, Mai. Excellent tour. lunch was amazing. I recommend the beef. Sake tasting was excellent for beginners

Perfect way to stay connected. Very easy and conveniant. If the could deliver to the hotel it would be perfect!

A very memorable trip.. December is good timing to visit!! would recommend everybody to join..

Recommended, you can have Internet to guide you where you want to go.