Yudanaka Township

Downtown Yudanaka; an authentic Japanese town
Yudanaka is famous for its snow monkeys often found wandering the streets
Yudanaka is a great base for Shiga Kogen & many other nearby resorts
There are many hot springs (onsens) in and around Yudanaka
Snow monkey onsen near Yudanaka
Yudanaka brews some spectacular sake
The hot springs are used for many purposes including cooking
The Monkey Onsen near Yudanaka is a must do
Yudanaka has some lovely traditional ryokan-style accommodation
The streets of Yudanaka are lit up at night time
Shibu Onsen is a traditional Japanese village about 15 mins walk away
Visiting the onsens is a daily ritual for many people
One of the many public onsens at Shibu
Yudanaka is starting to see many new restaurants
And there are several bars around Yudanaka
Yudanaka is a unique Japanese experience
Oh and did we mention the monkeys hanging around town
Another Shibu village onsen
This is a great little town for those wanting a more Japanese experience

Yudanaka Township

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Yudanaka Japan is commonly known as “snow monkey town” and is one of the areas in Yamanouchi along with Shibu Onsen, Shiga Kogen, and of course the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park that features about 200 snow monkeys that play and keep warm in the onsen. Yudanaka Onsen is also renowned for the many onsen for humans, the traditional Japanese experience on offer, and the easy access it provides to many of the ski resorts around Nagano (and parts of Niigata).

Where is Yudanaka Nagano?

Part of the town of Yamanouchi, Yudanaka (aka Yudanaka Onsen) is the region around the Yudanaka train station. Yudanaka is located in the Nagano Prefecture, 30 km northeast of Nagano City. The adjacent village of Shibu Onsen is 2km from the Yudanaka train station.

Ski Resorts Near Yudanaka

Yudanaka sits at the base of Shiga Kogen, with a 14km windy road that leads up to Sun Valley, the first of the Shiga ski areas. Okushiga-kogen, the most northern part of Shiga Kogen, is 25km from Yudanaka, whilst Yokoteyama at the southern end of Shiga is 20km from Yudanaka.

The drive from Yudanaka Onsen up to the main part of Shiga Kogen takes about 30 minutes. There is also a regular inexpensive bus service from Yudanaka train station to Shiga Kogen, although it takes a long time if you want to head to one of the outer Shiga ski areas because the bus makes many stops.

Yudanaka Nagano also makes a great base to explore the other nearby ski resorts, particularly if you have a rental car or are on a multi-resort tour.

Distances from Yudanaka Japan:
  • Ryuoo – 10km northeast
  • Kijimadaira (Kita Shinshū Kijimadaira), one of the four interconnected Mt Kosha ski resorts along with Yomase Onsen, Yamabiko no Oka, and X-Jam Takaifuji - 14.5km north
  • Nozawa Onsen – 28km north
  • Togari Onsen – 26km north (a little west of Nozawa)
  • Madarao (interconnected with Tangram) – 26km northwest
  • Tangram (interconnected with Madarao) – 32km northwest
  • Togakushi – 46km west
  • Akakura (of Myoko Kogen) – 39km northwest
  • Seki Onsen (of Myoko Kogen) – 50km northwest
  • Lotte Arai - 59km northeast (1 hour)
  • Yamaboku - 28km southeast

Getting to Yudanaka

After catching a bullet train to Nagano (see routes, timetables and fares on Hyperdia), you can catch a local train to Yudanaka on the Nagano Dentetsu line. Buy a train ticket at the Nagano ticket office, as this “snow monkey train” is not covered on the Japan Rail Pass. The train from Nagano to Yudanaka takes about 45 minutes. Most of the hotels in town provide a train station pick up service, unless they are just a short walk away. 

Yudanaka Ryokan and Hotel Accommodation

Yudanaka accommodation ranges from inexpensive hostels up to deluxe hotels. There are various traditional Japanese ryokans as well as other hotels with traditional Japanese style accommodation with tatami flooring and futons on the floor. Only a few of the Yudanaka hotels have the option of western style accommodation. Most of the Yudanaka ryokans and hotels have an on-site onsen. Alternatively you can stay in a Shibu Onsen ryokan.

One of our top picks for Yudanaka accommodation is the Ryokan Biyunoyado, which offers tatami rooms, western rooms with a tatami seating area, and luxury suites with a private balcony onsen. All rooms have a private bathroom, or guests can bathe in the lovely onsen (includes open air baths). In addition to the general onsen, other opportunities to indulge in Japanese culture include a rooftop private onsen, traditional Japanese evening meals, taiko drum shows, and a karaoke room.

Another great pick is Lodge Aibiya, which is an upscale hostel with plenty of delightful Japanese décor and touches. The lodge has 4 bed dorm rooms with single beds (no bunks) and private rooms (twin, double, triple) with shared bathroom. There is also a deluxe room with an ensuite. Breakfast is provided and there is a fully equipped kitchen so you can DIY cooking for dinner.

Yudanaka Hotel Listings

Yudanaka Restaurants

There are many Yudanaka restaurants, including soba, udon, sushi, other Japanese dining, a Chinese restaurant, pizza, and a coffee shop. Most of the restaurants are small and cute.

With the influx of foreign visitors, new restaurants & bars are popping up all over the place. See more information here>>

Other Facilities

Near the station there is a small grocery store, a Lawson convenience store, and a post office. There are no ski or snowboard shops in Yudanaka, and if you’re looking for rental equipment you’ll need to organise this at one of the ski resorts.


In addition to the onsen in the hotels, there are public baths and foot onsen in Yudanaka.

Other local activities include a stroll through the nearby village of Shibu Onsen. You can walk to Shibu Onsen from Yudanaka or there are frequent buses from the train station. This cute historic onsen village features traditional Japanese architecture, ryokans lining narrow cobblestone streets, laneways and little temples. Here you may see people clomping up and down the street dressed in yukata and wooden thongs on the way to one of the public onsens. It feels like the ultimate traditional Japanese cultural experience!

The sake museum Tamamura is worth a visit, at least to taste the many sake varietals on offer. Nearby is a brewery if beer is more your thing.

Of course the quintessential activity in Yamanouchi (other than skiing at Shiga Kogen) is a visit to the snow monkey park. The trail head to the Japanese snow monkeys park is only a 5 minute drive from Yudanaka.
Tours Based in Yudanaka

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

The Legendary Roadie
11 Days | 10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Experience Japan powder like no other on this legendary road trip where you will visit up to 8 resorts in 3 prefectures; Nagano, Gunma & Niigata! Join a tour as a solo traveler, couple or small group. Max 6 spots per tour so get in quickly! Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share, standard package at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,246
View Details
 Early bird special: 5% off listed prices if you book before 31 July 2020
Fire & Snow
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Enjoy powder skiing/riding whilst visiting some of the best ski areas in Nagano & Niigata including Nozawa Onsen, Lotte Arai, Myoko Kogen, Madarao/Tangram, Shiga Kogen & finish with the Nozawa Fire Festival. Also visit the snow monkeys, Matsumoto Castle, sake brewery & onsen.
Price p/p From price is based twin-share rooms (private room upgrade is extra & is subject to availability at time of booking)
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inclusive of tax
*Display price may vary slightly due to fluctuation in exchange rates.
USD 3,246
View Details
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Yudanaka here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Nagano Ski/Board Progression
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence or improve your on-piste technique whilst checking out some of Nagano's fabulous ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history. Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,781
View Details
 Early bird discount: 5% off listed prices if you book before 31 July 2020
Nagano Ski Buffet
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, traditional Japanese accommodation and authentic Japanese food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure! Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room at Lodge Aibiya with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,781
View Details
 Early bird special: 5% off listed prices if you book before 31 July 2020
Nagano Powder Zone
8 Days | 7 Night | 6 Skiing | Up to 6 Ski Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Ideal for budget conscious intermediate to advanced skiers & riders who want maximum pow! Based in the traditional town of Yudanaka, which is relatively free of western influence, you will be ensured of an authentic Japanese ski or snowboard experience. Share
Price p/p From price based on twin share room with shared bathroom at Lodge Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,223
View Details
 Early bird special: 5% off listed prices if you book before 31 July 2020
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Yudanaka here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Nagano Beginner Lessons
Pick up at Yudanaka for Shiga Kogen
Ability: Beginner
Learn to ski or snowboard at Shiga Kogen with fully qualified English speaking instructors. Private lessons for the day or multiple days. Includes pick-up from your accommodation in Yudanaka (near the snow monkeys) or Shiga Kogen.
Price p/p From price based on 6 people in a private group.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 77
View Details
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Yudanaka here