One of the best Japanese travel experiences is definitely hitting the snow in Hakuba. On your way into or out of the ski-fields, it’s worth spending some time in Nagano, for the sake, for the food, for the culture and definitely to see the snow monkeys!
Their actual species name is “Japanese Macaque” and these fabulous monkeys are easily viewed in many areas of Japan, but my favourite is Jigokudani Monkey Park (地獄谷野猿公苑, Jigokudani Yaen Kōen) just outside of Nagano.
As you trek the path you’ll sight monkeys everywhere, but it’s not until you reach the end of the path that the true magic awaits. Families of macaques, bathing in the hot springs and running through the snow.
This is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Japan and Nagano.