Welcome to Matsumoto & the Northern Japan Alps


For those coming from Tokyo, lovely Matsumoto, in the centre of north–south sprawling Nagano Prefecture, is the gateway city for the Northern Alps and a fascinating destination in its own right.


Top experiences in Matsumoto & the Northern Japan Alps

Matsumoto & the Northern Japan Alps activities

$143.26 Cultural & Theme Tours

Nagano Day Tour: Zenko-ji Temple, Snow Monkeys, Sake Tasting

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano Prefecture, Koshinetsu, ChubuEstablished in 1964, Nagano's world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs. With no barriers between you and the monkeys (don't worry, they are very calm) this is a unique opportunity to observe these curious creatures in close proximity as the walk about you, wrestle with each other, endlessly groom, and of course, soak in their favorite hot spring! Your guide will introduce you to everything that makes them so unique and famous while giving you plenty of time to explore for yourself.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Zenko-ji Temple, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture, Koshinetsu, ChubuAs one of the oldest, largest, and most important Buddhist temples in Japan, Zenko-ji is the spiritual heart of Nagano. A registered National Treasure, the temple's near-1400 year history is full of legend and myth which your guide will help you unlock as they guide you around the temple precinct followed by time to explore for yourself (time-permitting).Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Patio Daimon, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture, Koshinetsu, ChubuNagano is Japan's second largest producer of 'sake', meaning no trip to the region is complete without sampling some of the local breweries. Your guide will introduce to the complex and warm world of sake with a guided tasting - the perfect way to end your tour.Duration: 30 minutes

$50.84 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Takayama Food and Culture Walking Day Tour

Meet your guide at a centrally located meeting point at 9:30am, then head out to enjoy a variety of local food and sake, learning about the special culinary culture and history in Takayama. Visit local shops, such as a saké brewery, a miso maker, the morning market and the local restaurant to have a short break.Discover the distinctive culture and history of Takayama with your knowledgeable guide while you go through the old town area, designated an area of Important Traditional Buildings by the Japanese Government. Enjoy the relaxing time with the rich atmosphere and soak-up the daily life in Takayama.This guided tour connects travelers and locals through food and culture, and you will find the sights of Japanese countryside through this tour.

$164.52 Outdoor Activities

Snow Monkey Tour at Jigokudani in Nagano's Shiga-kogen

Tour starts at Nagano Station, and from there you will be taken to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. See the Japanese macaques warming up their bodies by bathing in hot springs. Your guide will tell you interesting facts about the park and the snow monkeys while you stroll around the park. After some time with the snow monkeys, head back for a delicious lunch at the restaurant near the Snow Monkey Park.After a well-deserved lunch, get ready for the snow part of the tour. Head up to one of the ski resorts of the Shiga Kogen highlands, the biggest ski area in Japan. This mountainous area was one of the scenes for the 1998 Winter Olympics and every year this area receives a huge amount of snow, making for some incredible scenery.Head to the snow activity slope, where you can play in the snow. Take advantage of the snow sleds, snow scooters, snow bikes, and more at the park. Those who have no experience skiing or snowboarding can find plenty of other things to do on the ski slope. After having fun on the slope, we will then ride a ski lift up the ski slope to an altitude of 1950 meters (5850 feet). Enjoy the panoramic scenery of the entire northern Nagano area.Itinerary:9:35am - Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 9:20.You will first go to the Snow Monkey area by public transport. Your tour has to get moving by 9:40am, so please don't be late!11am - Welcome to the Snow Monkey area! You will get to Yudanaka from where you will head to the Snow Monkey Park. After a 30 minute walk through a beautiful forest trail you will have arrived at the Snow Monkey Park.11:30am - Arrival to the Snow Monkey Park, enjoy Japanese wild macaques bathing in onsen or frolicking around the park.1pm - Have lunch nearby the Snow Monkey Park.1:45pm - Leave the lunch restaurant and go up to the snow-covered mountains of Shiga Kogen.2:30pm Arrival at the ski resort. After preparations, you can enjoy your time with various snow fun tools to go down the slope and play with fresh snow!4pm - Leave the snow fun area and then take a ski lift to go up the mountain. Enjoy viewing a mountainous scenery of Nagano and take some extra photos.4:30pm - The end of the snow activity. Prep for departure.5:15 - Arrival at the Yudanaka Station. A train back to Nagano Station leaves Yudanaka at 5:10pm.6:30pm - Arrive back to Nagano Station.

$106.29 Cultural & Theme Tours

Nagano Private Tour with Ryokan Accommodation

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).On this tour, spend two days in Nagano exploring the city and enjoying what this quaint town has to offer. Your English-speaking tour guide will pick you up with a private vehicle at Nagano Train Station by 9:30 AM. On the route to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape of the Chikuma River, where you may also try local miso soup and see how local people eat in the area. Before arriving at the entrance of the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy a 30 - 40 minute leisurely stroll through the forest path, where the guide will provide you with interesting facts about the snow monkeys and the park along the way. Once you enter the park, have some hot tea while observing the snow monkeys, many of which are bathing in the hot springs (onsen) to keep warm, especially during the cool months of autumn and winter. After an exciting morning at the park, visit Obuse Town (which is most well-known for being the home town of Japan's most famous artist and creator of the "Great Wave", Hokusai Katsushika), enjoy lunch in the area before walking around to explore the shops and try sake tasting.After a day at Obuse Town, head to Zenko-ji Temple (one of the most important and popular temples in Japan). Learn about the temple and how the locals pray for good fortune before heading to your traditional Japanese hotel (ryokan) for the night. Just before your scrumptious traditional Japanese multi-course (kaiseki) dinner at the hotel, bid farewell to your tour guide (as you will have a free day to explore without the tour guide on the second day).Relax in a traditional onsen (hot spring) in the area of your hotel just before heading to bed and getting a good night's sleep. In the morning, enjoy a traditional Japanese breakfast before checking out of your hotel and spend your free day (without the tour guide) further exploring the city or snowboarding/ skiing (highly recommended) in one of the nearby resorts. For those who would like to explore neighboring areas such as Matsumoto Castle, Kamikochi, Hakuba, or other neighboring areas with a tour guide and private vehicle, the option is available as an add-on (additional cost) at booking. Seasonal Recommendations for This Tour:Spring Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Viewing: Mid-April to Early-MayAutumn Foliage (Koyo) Viewing: Early-September to Late-NovemberWinter Festivities: Early-December to Late-March

$98.20 Tours & Sightseeing

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park Tour with Entry and Sake Tasting

A visit to the snow monkeys is one of the highlights of a visit to Japan. Jigokudani Yaen-koen is a place to observe the interesting ecology of Japanese monkeys nearby, and many people in the world have loved this place since 1964 when it first opened. Many researchers and photographers has also visit here for the photo opportunity. The monkeys here are known as "Snow Monkeys” because they bathe in the hot springs and no other monkeys in the world do this. In 1970, they were appeared in the cover of "LIFE" magazine in the U.S. and were reported by the press overseas. Furthermore, in 1998, when the winter Olympic Games were held in Nagano, many athletes, game staff, news media and tourists from foreign countries visited, and made it a big topic.Soaking in the hot spring is only one part of the monkeys’ lives. Monkeys do not usually soak in the hot spring in the warm season because they soak in the hot spring in order to survive the severe winter weather. The best charm of Jigokudani Yaen-koen is not taking pictures of monkeys, however, but enjoying the ecology of wild monkeys to be able to observe nearby through a year and the rich nature itself of the animals, insects, plants, and so on. Please listen carefully on the walking trail to Jigokudani and you will experience the natural ecology of the area through your five senses! Itinerary・Stroll Yumichi walking trail.・Visit Shibu no Jigokudani funsen.・Visit Jigokudani Yaen-koen & rest.・Description of the nature by the guide

$194.10 Tours & Sightseeing

Private Nagano Tour: Zenkoji Temple, Obuse, Jigokudani Park

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, Fall and Winter seasons. • Spend a full-day in Nagano exploring the city and enjoying what this quaint town has to offer with an English-speaking tour guide in a private vehicle • On the route to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape of the Chikuma River, where you may also try local miso soup and see how local people eat in the area. • Before arriving at the entrance of the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy a 30 - 40-minute leisurely stroll through the forest path. Once you enter the park, have some hot tea before spending time with the snow monkeys, many of which are bathing in the hot springs (onsen) to keep warm, especially during the cool months of autumn and winter. • After an exciting morning at the park, visit Obuse Town, which is most well-known for being the hometown of Japan's most famous artist and creator of the "Great Wave", Hokusai Katsushika. Enjoy lunch in the area (at your own expense) before walking around to explore the shops and try sake tasting. • After a day at Obuse Town, head to Zenko-Ji Temple, one of the most important and popular temples in Japan, as it stores the first Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan when Buddhism was first introduced in the 6th century. Learn about the temple and how the locals pray for good fortune. • As an option, at the end of the day, enjoy an onsen experience in Shibu Onsen (a hot spring resort that has 1,300 years of history). Step back in time while walking through this historic Onsen Town. Seasonal Recommendations for This Tour:Spring Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Viewing: Mid-April to Early-MayAutumn Foliage (Koyo) Viewing: Early-September to Late-NovemberWinter Festivities: Early-December to Late-March

Matsumoto & the Northern Japan Alps in detail