Snow Monkeys | Guide to Yudanaka Shibu Onsen area
My advices for traveling to Snow Monkey park, Yudanaka Shibu onsen traditional Japanese village full of hot springs and Shiga Kogen.
yudanaka, shibu onsen, snow monkey, nagano, accommodation
Intellectual property rights:
Creation date:



  • Here is a place you can experience nostalgic Japanese spa town
  • Many ryokan hotels have a history more than 400 years
  • 2 km from Yudanaka station, 2.5 hours from Tokyo - Travel info
  • 5min. to get to the Monkey park by bus (+ Walking path) or 40 min on foot
  • there are 35 onsen ryokans along one street + 9 public hot spring bath-houses along the street, what makes unique old japanes hot spring town atmosphere
  • Many choices of accommodation depending to your bugget and expectations - from B&B to the ryokan with hot spring bath on your balcony and top quality kaiseki traditional dinner
  • 7 temples, free table tenis available, Sake brewery & tasting, Origami show room
  • Restaurants, Bars, Souvenir shops, Post office with ATM, Information center
    >>> See more activites around Shibu Onsen

If you are just passing through this place stop in the Foot bath, or stop in Information center and buy ticket (500yen) and you can enter the biggest Oyu bath (nr.9), which is under the foot bath.

Shibu Onsen
Shibu Onsen walking
Shibu Onsen shooting


Shibu Onsen street is a very famous narrow onsen street surrounded with ryokan hotels next to each other and old architecture. People are strolling down the street wearing kimono or yukata and traditional Japanese sandals(geta). They are walking from bath to bath, stopping in souvenir shops or bars. I recommend this to everybody, to be a part of this real japanese atmosphere.


  • Come to take Bath to Shibu Onsen after watching Snow Monkeys taking hot bath
  • If you don't stay in Shibu Onsen, it's worht to come just for a walk, foot bath or take a public bath. (buy ticket (500yen) in Information Center and you can enter the biggest Oyu bath, which is under the foot bath)
  • if the water in public bath is too hot, adjust the temperature with tap water. Hot springs are here100% natural and really hot
  • Sometimes Snow Monkeys come down to Shibu Onsen to find some food

walking in Shibu Onsen
night in Shibu Onsen
Shibu onsen buildings


Shibu Onsen was a long time ago called Hirao Onsen. It originated in the year 1303, when priests from temples in Kyoto discovered healing effects of local hot springs and have been coming overe here regulary. The powerful Takeda Shingen leader of Soto sect was using Shibu Onsen's hot springs for healing his men after long battles. In the Edo period (1600 - 1868) Shibu Onsen  was used as a relaxation SPA area by Samurais from the Sanada clan. The very famous poet Issa Kobayashi stayed in many ryokans in this area and wrote several poems, which you can see writen on stones around the town.

Shibu onsen history
guest in Shibu onsen
Shibu Onsen - tenugui


Watch how Snow Monkeys terrorize Shibu Onsen (sorry Japanese only)they come down to the Shibu Onsen and look for a food. Of corse victims are all of souvenier shops. Shop keepers do not like them very much and have ready kids guns with stones and try to scare them. The other day I was witness of sweets rubbery in 5 hotel rooms and belive me it's not fun,when in the hotel are jumping hungry wild monkeys :)

  • Room with open air hot spring bath on balcony - there is only one hotel in this area, which has 10rooms with private open air hot spring baths on balcony. You can enjoy your privite hot spring bath 24hours in a day. In the winter you can sit on your balcony in the hot bath, drink beer and feel the dropping snow flake on your hair. Kokuya ryokan
  • Bath-houses - Each of the bath-houses have their own stamp.After taking a bath in each of them you should collect the stamps on a special towel (300yen at your ryokan or souvenir shops). If you take bath in all 9 Bath-houses, it’s said good fortunes will come true such as ‘easy delivery and rise up’, ‘live long and healthy’, ‘talisman against evils’. Therefore those Bath-houses are very popular.
  • Egg boiled in the Hot spring - on the street of Shibu Onsen you can try a half boiled egg by hot spring. The water is rising and eggs are boiling right in front of you. The taste is slightly different, because of the natural hot spring water reach in minerals. The Eggs are bit solty and very tasty. 50yen each.
  • Hot spring flower - the white fluffy thing in the bath-tub is called ‘water flower’ which is mineral by nature.

Very nice video. Stay in Ryokan of Shibu Onsen is from 2:40 min.

JR pass

JR PASS - the cheapest way to travel by train in Japan

I recomend to by Japanese Rail Pass - its the cheapest way to travel in Japan.
You can click the link or on the picture, this company I tried and I think is the best and fastest.
You can buy it online and exchange voucher in JR office at all airports in Japan. They can also deliver to your
hotel in Japan or to your country in 48 hours, for some delivery fee, or free if you buy more of them.
More about JR pass I wrote here

Send me your comment! Thank you!