Yudanaka and nearby Shibu Onsen are traditional hot spring areas, full of interesting old buildings, restaurants and shrines.  The area is well known for it’s monkey park, where monkeys play in a hot spring.

Budget travel tips

  • Makes for a great side trip from Nagano or Matsumoto.  The train to Yudanaka also stops at Obuse, a stunning town to explore.
  • Pick up a free map of the area at Nagano station or in Yudanaka Tourist Information Center.
  • Get a Nagano Snow Resort Pass if you are going here and other areas in Nagano prefecture.
  • We recommend saving on the bus fee and walking back from the Monkey Park to Yudanaka station.  Just make sure you are going back down the river, and check out Shibu Hot Spring on the way.

Things to do

Jigokudani Monkey Park

A very strange, and funny experience.  This park is full of monkeys jumping and running about.  They also have their own hot spring bath, so bring your camera for some cool pics.

Open: 8:30-17:00 (summer), 9:00-16:00 (winter)

Price: Adults 500 yen, Children 250 yen

Access: From Yudanaka station, take the bus to Kanbayashi bus stop (15 mins). Or use the map and go for a nice walk along the river (about 1 hour).

Yudanaka Hot Spring (Onsen) Area

There are some nice traditional streets in Yudanaka, selling traditional sweets and food.  See map for recommended route.

Shibu Hot Spring (Onsen) Area 

A little hot spring heaven, with many all together in a compact area.  They streets look like ancient Japan.  Check our map for the areas location.  It’s best to just stroll around, going down streets that look of interest.

Kaede No Yu Station Hot Spring

This hot spring is right outside Yudanaka train station.  Many different types of baths, from large outside baths to foot baths.

Price: Adults 300 yen, Children 150 yen

Open: 10 AM to 9 PM

How to get there

From Nagano, take the Nagano Electric Railway (private line) to Shinshun-Nakano, then change for a train to Yudanaka (75 mins, 1130 yen).  The much faster limited express is only 100 yen extra and goes direct to Yudanaka (48 mins, 1230 yen).

From other places, first get to Nagano then take the directions above.


Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Senshinkan Matsuya

Very near to the Monkey Park entrance, includes free entrance to  the hot springs in the area. Check prices at Booking.com

More at Booking.com

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict