Nagano, Japan and the Snow Monkeys

Nagano is located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture on the main Japanese island of Honshu. Nagano city is the home of one of Japan’s most famous temples – Zenkoji, and is also well known for having hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Shiga Kogen in Nagano is very a popular destination spot for seeing snow monkeys (Japanese Macaque) relaxing in onsen hot springs at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. They will allow you to get close to them for pictures, but be cautious if a baby monkey is nearby, as they do get incredibly protective.

Shiga Kogen is home to many winter resorts. I stayed at The Captain’s, which is set up as a ski-in ski-out resort with the lift being right outside the hotel door. The owners provided a home cooked meal for breakfast and dinner each day. Dinner was very authentic Japanese food and incredibly delicious. If you do make it to snow monkey park, I recommend stopping in at Enza cafe (either on your walk to or from the park) to warm up with a bowl of ramen and a hot chocolate.

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