Just a 20 minute drive from Shiga Kogen and a 45 minute drive from Nagano Station are the world famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Yaen Koen Monkey Park. Perfect for seeing on your way to or from Shiga Kogen, these monkeys are just a 1-hour round trip walk from the path beginning in Kanbayashi Onsen. Have a hot chocolate or a famous fried sweet potato at Enza Cafe before continuing your journey. For more information or for itinerary ideas that include the Snow Monkeys see http://snowmonkeytrip.com/
The term “Snow Monkey” refers to the way the monkeys bathe in the hot springs baths of Jigokudani Monkey Park while snow falls around them, even though the monkeys stick around most of the year. The monkeys are Japanese macaques, common throughout Japan and the Northernmost primates in the world (besides humans). These monkeys are, however, the only monkeys in the world that bathe like humans. Come see this spectacular phenomenon for yourself!