Extend your luxury Japan holiday and head for the Alps to see the native red-faced snow monkeys bathing in hot springs
Wildlife | Winter
To escape the winter chill, Yudanaka’s red-faced macaques can be seen playing in the region’s famed onsen. On this three-day extension out of Matsumoto, you’ll be able to watch as whole families – unperturbed by humans – wash, splash and even throw snowballs deep in the northern mountains of the Japanese Alps.
Day by day itinerary
To get here, you’ll take an express train to Nagano where the Dentetsu line takes 45 scenic minutes to wind 20 miles up past fruit groves and vineyards that – in the winter – are tucked up in a pristine blanket of snow. Here, a pretty forest walk brings you to the monkeys before you check into your charming 19th century ryokan retreat, complete with private hot spring bath and traditional meals served in your room.
The next day, you might want to visit Obuse, a historic town just 20 minutes away by train. As the hometown of Katsushika Hokusai – the fabled woodblock artist – you’ll find museums dedicated to his famous ‘wave’ print along with sake breweries, oral gardens and painted temples. Don’t miss out on the Gassho-in Temple where a giant Chinese phoenix – Hokusai’s work – adorns the ceiling.
On your third day, you’ll return by train to Tokyo via Nagano, best known for it cosmopolitan Olympic legacy and the curved tiers of its beautiful Kamakura period temple. Remember that, while the monkeys can be spotted year-round, the snow is only here in winter, from December to March.
This extension is suitable for…
With a host of included tours and a traditional ryokan stays, this is your chance to experience the best Japan has to offer as you explore the country's hi-tech cities, ancient temples and spectacular national parks.
Step out of Japan's capital and explore an alpine world of shrines and samurai frozen in time. Board the mighty bullet train, sleep in timber ryokan inns, stay in hot onsen springs and more on this tailor-made journey.
Any element of this extension can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
3-day extension from £585 pp
Low/High Season: From £585 pp (Superior)
Includes: 2 nights accommodation, breakfast, dinner & all train transfers save any trips made to Obuse
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