Yamanouchi Travel Guide

Explore the culturally rich and natural wonders of Yamanouchi, Japan, with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover hiking and biking routes, scenic views, cultural attractions, and more.

Introduction to Yamanouchi

Nestled in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Yamanouchi is a hidden gem known for its stunning natural beauty, abundant hot springs, and rich cultural heritage. Located in the Nagano Prefecture of Chubu, Yamanouchi is a quaint town that boasts a variety of must-see attractions, including world-class skiing, hiking and biking trails, and several historic temples and museums. In this guide, we will delve into the best things to do and see in Yamanouchi, how to get around, and where to stay during your visit.

List of Places to Visit in Yamanouchi

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Jigokudani Monkey Park
  • Shiga Kogen Ski Resort
  • Yudanaka Onsen
  • Zenko-ji Temple
  • National Treasure Museum

Natural Attractions of Yamanouchi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Snow Monkey Park and Hot Springs
  • Joshinetsu Kogen National Park
  • Shiga Kogen Highlands
  • Mt. Yokote
  • Shigakogen River

Hiking/Biking Routes of Yamanouchi

Yamanouchi is a hiker’s paradise with scenic mountain trails in abundance. Some of the best hiking and biking routes to explore include:

  • Shiga-Kogen Highlands Nature Trail
  • Snow Monkey Trail
  • Yokote Mountain Trail
  • Rokugo Forest Trail
  • Shiga Kogen-Sun Valley Trail

Best Things to Do in Yamanouchi: Activities and Tours

  • Skiing and snowboarding at Shiga Kogen ski resort
  • Relaxing in an outdoor hot spring
  • Watching snow monkeys bathe in hot springs
  • Visiting Zenko-ji Temple
  • Hiking and biking in the mountains

Week-Long Itinerary for Yamanouchi

Day 1: Arrival and check-in at accommodation. Day 2: Visit Jigokudani Monkey Park and Snow Monkey Hot Springs. Day 3: Hiking at Shiga-Kogen Highlands. Day 4: Relaxing in Yudanaka Onsen. Day 5: Sightseeing in Zenko-ji Temple and National Treasure Museum. Day 6: Biking at Shiga Kogen - Sun Valley Trail. Day 7: Departure.

Food and Drink Scene of Yamanouchi

Must-Try Dishes

  • Sobagaki - a local soba delicacy
  • Hoba Miso - grilled miso on magnolia leaves
  • Sake - Japanese rice wine
  • Oyaki - a traditional dumpling

Local Beverages

  • Sake - Japanese rice wine
  • Apple juice made of locally grown apples

Where to Stay in Yamanouchi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Yamanouchi offers a range of accommodation options for every traveler, including traditional Japanese accommodations such as ryokans and minshukus as well as modern hotels.

  • Biyu No Yado Ryokan
  • Shibu Hotel Ryumeikan
  • Ryokan Biyunoyado
  • Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel
  • Hotel Yudanaka

What to Buy in Yamanouchi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Hiba wood crafts
  • Tsumugi silk textiles
  • Chestnuts
  • Apples
  • Traditional Japanese souvenirs

Local Culture and Customs of Yamanouchi

Yamanouchi is a proud town with a rich cultural heritage. Respect for traditional customs and nature is key, including bathing etiquette in hot springs and respecting the monkeys in their natural habitat.

Best Time to Visit Yamanouchi

Each season in Yamanouchi has its own charm. Visit in winter for skiing and snow activities, and summer for hiking and biking trails. Spring is ideal for cherry blossom viewing, and autumn for fall foliage.

Do’s and Don’ts of Yamanouchi


  • Respect local customs and culture
  • Take a dip in an outdoor hot spring
  • Try local cuisine and beverages
  • Take plenty of photos and enjoy breathtaking views


  • Wear shoes in hot springs
  • Feed the monkeys in their natural habitat
  • Litter and harm the environment
  • Use flash photography when the snow monkeys are resting

Safety and Health

Safety in Yamanouchi

Overall, Yamanouchi is a safe town, but be cautious when hiking and skiing in the mountains as accidents can occur.

Health in Yamanouchi

Be wary of altitude sickness when hiking or skiing in the higher-elevation regions of Yamanouchi. Due to the hot springs, hotels will typically provide yukata for guests to wear, so pack appropriate clothing.

Getting to Yamanouchi: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Yamanouchi

The closest airports to Yamanouchi are Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. From there, you can take the Nagano Snow Shuttle bus direct to Yamanouchi

Bus Stations Near Yamanouchi

There are several bus stations in Yamanouchi, but the most convenient are Yudanaka Station and Nagano Station.

Other Options

The Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) runs from Tokyo to Nagano, where you can take a bus or taxi to Yamanouchi.

How to Get Around in Yamanouchi

The best way to get around Yamanouchi is via the local bus system, which travels throughout town and the surrounding areas. Alternatively, many attractions such as Shiga Kogen can be reached on foot or by bicycle.

Where to Go Next from Yamanouchi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Nagano City
  • Matsumoto Castle
  • Takayama
  • Kanazawa
  • Kiso Valley


Whether you come for the skiing or the snow monkeys, Yamanouchi is a charming town that offers something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious food and drink scene, it’s no wonder that Yamanouchi is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists visiting Japan. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Yamanouchi today!