Meet at Nagano station. Travel by bus for an hour to the entrance of Togakushi Okusha Shrine and walk about 40 minutes to the Okusha. After visiting Okusha Shrine we will visit the Togakushi Ninja Museum where we can see ninja tools on display. At Chusha Shrine we will have lunch at a soba noodle restaurant. From Togakushi, we will move to Zenkoji temple by bus (or taxi).
Togakushi Shrine (Okusha, Chusha)
Ninja museum and Ninja House
The land of Togakushi is related to Ama no iwato (Cave of heaven) in "Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters)" in Japanese mythology. Along the way to Okusha shrine, we will walk through a beautiful path surrounded by 400-year-old cedar trees. The path will exude an almost spiritual feeling of the majesty and power of nature.
It is believed that Togakushi is home to the Togakure School of Ninpo, a group of ninjas with a history of over 800 years. You will see ninja tools on display at the Ninja museum. Togakushi is also well known for soba noodles (buckwheat noodle) and we will sample them during the tour.
At Zenkoji Temple, we will buy a ticket for the kaidan meguri and take the stairs down into the pitch-black crypt passage under the main hall of the temple. If you touch the key below, you will be guaranteed to connect with the pure land.
Travel expenses to/from the place where the guide meets you and his residence in Nagano.
Admission fees to temples/shrines/museums/etc. (you and guide) (apx.1600JPY/person)
Transportation charges during the services. (you and guide) (apx.3000JPY/person)
Other actual tour-related expenses (if any).
I can also guide you to Nagano and the surrounding area from Tokyo.
Travel insurance is not included in our tours. I would recommend you take out your own travel insurance just in case of any unexpected accident.
Tour available months：April to October
1) The tour will not be conducted during the winter (Mid-Nov. to Mid-April) and instances of extreme weather such as typhoons and snowstorms.
2) Casual clothes and warm clothes (in Spring and Autumn) are recommended for the walk.
3) Please advise us if you have any religious or health restrictions, allergies, or have other specific requests.
We were lucky enough to have Takeshi share with us his knowledge of the Nagano area and the Snow Monkeys. He is a very calm, kind and interesting guide. We would highly recommend using his services if you are in the Nagano/ Matsumoto area.
Kelton-san, Thank you for your review. I had a very enjoyable time with you while I was guiding. Hope to see you again!
What a memorable day! Takushi shared a lot of interesting information about the snow monkeys and the Nagano region and history. He has a broad knowledge of the Buddhist traditions and the gorgeous Zenko-ji temple. He helped me change my return train ticket efficiently so that I could take an earlier train. Thank you!
Thank you for the review. I am glad you could take the earlier train. The tour day was perfect. We could see the Snow Monkeys in the snowfall. I think it was beautiful. I hope to see you again. Thanks.
On December 24, our family went to Nagano Prefecture for a half day tour at a Ski Resort. Takeshi was our guide and he was very nice and organized. Before the tour day, he constantly communicated with me for everything that we need to know about the resort and what to expect. On the tour day, our family had a great time at the ski resort. My children enjoyed learning how to ski and we were mesmerized by the powdery white snow! Takeshi even arranged an exclusive ride for our family back and forth from Nagano to the ski resort. And in the evening before we went back to our hotel, he extended his time just to look for a good restaurant for our family to have dinner at. I highly recommend Takeshi. And as for our tour, it was one for the book!
Sarah-san, thank you for your review. I was a little worried in the beginning because it did not snow a lot this year. I was very happy when we had snow just one day before our tour day and could enjoy seeing the fresh snow view with your family!
Highly recommended. You won't be disappointed. Our family of 4 had a fantastic day with Takeshi to see the snow monkeys and visit Shibu Onsen. His organisation throughout the day was excellent. Everything was well planned. Conversation throughout the day was wonderful. We learnt a lot and really enjoyed his company. The recommended restaurant near the Snow Monkeys has easily been one of our best meals on our trip so far. Communication before the tour was friendly and great. A truly great guide and great person. Thanking you again Takeshi.
Thank you for your review. How was the Onsen experience. I think you may felt hot in the beginning, because many Japanese prefer to have relatively hot Onsen. I was glad to be able to guide you, Tim-san.