Nagano, here we come!
Before we departed for Nagano, we do shopping at nearby supermarket from our airbnb.
I love to shop at supermarket in Japan. All the cashier staff was very friendly. It’s because of their culture and how they always put customer first.
What surprised me is that the cashier register machine is so modern it can calculate the money by itself especially the coins. The machine also can give the change how much that you need to receive. The supermarket we went was not so modern in the interior and exterior, but they can maintain to update with such a modern machine to make the staff work efficiently and serve customer better.
Just like any other supermarket in Japan, the customer must insert the groceries that they purchase by themselves. It also made the staff work efficiently and serve the next customer faster.
How to reach Jigokudani Monkey Hot Spring ?
Itabashi Station via JR Saikyo Line – Omiya (Saitama) – shinkansen to Nagano – Nagano station – East exit at Nagano Station – took bus to Jigokudani – drop off at Jigokudani Yaen-Koen
(Hopefully my explanation won’t make you lost) 😦
Reach Nagano station around 1.30PM (we departed from Itabashi 11.30AM). The bus costs ¥1,400/person. While waiting for our bus, we opened our bento box that we bought from supermarket. It will be more cheaper if we purchase at supermarket than purchase at tourist area. Most supermarket and mini mart will have discount ready to eat food from the previous day if you visit late night or early morning.
Mine, Curry Spaghetti Chicken Katsu Rice
His, Demi Glaze Omurice
A Grandpa beside us said it’s apple tree, to his friend
There were many snow here! So many beautiful mountains can be seen along the way! The weather was sunny that day. 🙂
We dropped from the bus with other passengers at the bus stop around 3PM. It was kinda late because we read in an article that the last admission will be 4PM. We were worried that we don’t have enough time to walk to the hot spring.
All the passenger were dropped off in front of this building which we will wait our bus back to Nagano Station from here too. The building is an art building / museum, sorry I forgotten.
We walked through some housing area and hotels / ryokan along the way. We spent around 15 minutes till we reach the staircase that lead us to the forest.
View behind me
A gift shop at the entrance to the forest
Fingers cross! Hopefully we can reach on time and meet many snow monkeys!!
The scenery were so beautiful and mezmerizing. It was so magical that I feel like I seen this in my laptop wallpaper. Haha.. sorry, I never seen snow these much! It was my first. 🙂 Yes, I walked far behind Mr. F because I took my time to take some photos. >_<
Found this in side the forest
Adorable decoration at one of the house. After I see this, Mr. F fell down few meters in front of me. Then when I was going to run to him, I fell down too. LOL I thought if I’m wearing boots, it will be safe from slippery snow. Haha My butt touched the ground very hard and it hurts!
The river below, produced the steam. I believed that the water is hot! (we came from the road on the left) The building on the right side is a ryokan called Korakukan.
Oh no! Sunset is coming! Hurry hurry!
Tadaaa~! We met them after 45 minutes walked inside the forest! We made it!
They were looking for foods under the snow. It looked like as if they were eating the snow.
Jigokudani Yaen-koen located at the valley of Yokoyu River (the steamy river we passed by). Jigokudani means Hell Valley in english. It’s because of the steam from the river and springs.
Me : *slowly walk to the monkey* to take photo closer
Walk further then you’ll see a hot spring where the snow monkeys warm their body.
Sadly, there were not many snow monkeys swim inside the hot spring. The locals said if it is snowing, there will be a lot of snow monkey swim in the spring. It was kinda warm sunny weather so the monkey still feel fine with the weather.
We needed to head back around 4.30PM that day. The staff were announcing to us that the place will be close for the day. As we walked back, the sky turn dark very fast. The night fell and we need to walk in the dark.
We started from the left to the road on the right.
We found a small cafe after the staircase in the top photos, purchase an ice cream and walk back to the bus stop.
It was so dark so I can’t take any good photos. It was a good experience visiting Jigokudani. I may want to revisit some other time in the winter again. Hopefully it will be snowing so many snow monkeys will swim inside the hot spring. :p
I lost one of the Mickey glove Mr. F bought me the previous day. I dropped it on the bus. 😦
Jigokudani Yaen-koen 地獄谷野猿公苑
6845 Yamanouchi-machi Shimotakai-gun Nagano Japan 381-0401
8:30 to 17:00 (April to October) | 9:00 to 16:00 (November to March)
¥800 / person