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

Nagano City is well-known for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and while some of the former Olympic facilities can still be viewed in Nagano, the city has since evolved as a temple town revolving around the famous Zenkoji Temple, and is most visited during the Spring Season (for cherry blossoms), the Fall Season (for autumn foliage) and the Winter Season (for winter activities and for seeing the snow monkeys).

Highlights:

Cycle through farm villages, apple orchards, along the Chikuma River, and see the Nagano Olympic Area, Snow Monkey Park, Shibu Onsen and Obuse Town. 

  • On this tour, spend a full-day getting in touch with both the nature and city daily life of Nagano while cycling with your English-speaking tour guide and small group.
  • Begin your journey at 9 AM, where the tour guide will pick you up at your hotel or at Nagano Train Station (if you are coming from Tokyo or another city).
  • Start with cycling on high-quality bicycles along the Chikuma River. Journey through apple orchards, rice fields, rustic farming villages and charming ancient avenues, helping you to discover the true unique beauty of Japan.
  • This tour will also take you to the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, where you will find monkeys bathing in the hot spring and in their natural habitat. After observing the monkeys up close, we will visit Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen villages, which are located at the base of the Jigokudani mountains. These villages have a long history as hot spring resorts, with records of people visiting the onsen as far back as 1300 years ago. People come from far and wide to try the various 100% natural onsen made up of healing minerals. There are 9 outdoor baths that make up the famous hot spring area of Yamanouchi Town, and you can enjoy a regular bath or just a foot bath (optional) before continuing on the cycling tour to Obuse Town. Obuse Town is famous for its chestnuts, with many traditional shops offering delicious chestnut treats and delicacies, as well as being the hometown of famous Edo-period painter, Katsushika Hokusai (known for his various ukiyo-e artworks).
  • This tour is ideal if you are looking for a short getaway from busy cities to immerse yourself in the Japanese countryside with stunning natural and rural scenery, and excellent local food. The tour course is approximately 25 km, and 70% of the course is downhill while the rest mainly consists of flat roads. It is a relatively easy course with no prior cycling experience necessary.

Seasonal Recommendations for This Tour:
Spring
 Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Viewing: Mid-April to Early-May
Autumn Foliage (Koyo) Viewing: Early-September to Late-November
Winter Festivities: Early-December to Late-March

This scenery is particularly lovely in the Spring, when nanohana (rapeseed blossoms) and sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom, and even in the Summer and Autumn. 

  • Inclusions:
    • A local tour guide for small group
    • A high-quality bicycle for cycling
    • Entrance fee to Zenko-ji Temple
    • Entrance fee to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park (800 JPY for Adult over 18 years old, 400 JPY for Children under 18 years old and Free for Children under 6 years old.)
  • Exclusions:
    • Round-trip bullet train from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (free for visitors with JR pass). Train tickets available as add-on at checkout.
    • Meals, snacks and drinks

  Availability:

  • Recommended during Spring (for cherry blossoms), Summer (greenery), Fall (for autumn foliage). For a winter tour, cycling will be prohibited in the case of snow.
  • The monkeys enter the onsen all year round, but sometimes the park wardens will encourage the monkeys by throwing food into the pool, especially during the warmer seasons of the year.

  Location: Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture

  Time: Start time is between 9 AM to 9:30 AM (may be earlier depending on availability). The full tour is between 8 to 9 hours in length.

  Price:

2+ People in a Group (minimum of 2 people per booking):

  • Adult: 16,000 JPY per person 
  • Child: 8,000 JPY per person
  • Private Cycling Tour: +5000 JPY per person

Price with Round-Trip Bullet Train from Tokyo:

  • Adult (with bullet train to and from Tokyo): 35,000 JPY per person 
  • Child (with bullet train to and from Tokyo): 17,500 JPY per person

1 Person (supplementary cost included): 

  • Standard tour from Nagano Station: 30,000 JPY per person 
  • Private tour from Nagano Station: 40,000 JPY per person 
  • Standard tour from Tokyo Station: 67,000 JPY per person 
  • Private tour from Tokyo Station: 77,000 JPY per person 

  Requirements:

  • Must provide names of all guests and birth dates
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel

Additional information:

  • For this tour, if we provide train tickets: we will send train tickets to the guests’ hotel in Tokyo (the hotel which guests are staying at before their Nagano trip). Please provide: 1) Hotel Name in Tokyo, 2) Guest Name who booked the hotel, 3) Confirmation Number, and 4) Dates of Stay at the hotel in Tokyo.

Photos


Additional Information

What You Should Bring

Clothes: 

Please wear clothes suitable for cycling. It’s important to be comfortable when cycling so we recommend wearing cycling shorts, jersey and gloves, windbreaker, backpack (to carry all your belongings), and comfortable cycling shoes.

Sunglasses: We recommend that you bring sunglasses to protect against sunshine and insects.

Helmet and Gloves: Wearing a helmet while cycling in Japan is mandatory. We only have a one-size helmet and one-size gloves; therefore, we recommend that you bring your own so you have a helmet and gloves that fits properly on you for your cycling tour.

Insurance Certificate: Having travel insurance that covers any injuries is necessary. We are not responsible for any injuries or mishaps on this tour. 

Payment

All reservations are final and is payable via PayPal. Confirmations regarding your booking will be sent at least 10 days before your activity date.


Q&A

About Nagano

Nagano Prefecture is widely known as the home of the Japanese Alps and the host of the Winter Olympics in 1998. As Nagano City spans over a large area, many locations may be difficult to experience without a vehicle to drive from and to each destination. This tour includes a private tour guide and vehicle for your convenience in traveling around Nagano City. 

How far in advance should I book?

Nagano City is a popular destination from Tokyo. We recommend making a reservation as early as possible and ideally, at least a month in advance.

When is it Peak Season and what does that mean for this tour?

There are many peak seasons in Nagano, but it is especially busy during the Autumn and Winter Seasons. During these peak seasons, there will be heavy traffic on the roads and may take two to three times the duration to travel between locations. 

Other peak holidays include Golden Week (May 6th to 27th), the Obon Holidays (August 11th to 20th), and the New Year Holidays (December 28th – January 6th).

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