The Snow Monkey Tour starts right from the door of Snowball Chalet and takes you to the incredible Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park. We stroll through the Jigokudani forest and end up at the hot springs where the monkeys bathe and socialize. It is such an amazing experience to stop, watch and photograph these wonderful creatures. The monkeys are very used to the presence of humans but don't look them in the eye...
After the Monkey Park we stop by Shiga Brewery where we do a sake (Japanese rice wine) tasting of some of the best sake in Japan. The Shiga Brewery also sells their famous Shiga beer and some super cool Shiga Brewery merchandise as well.
After the brewery we then head to Shibu Onsen where we stroll through the beautiful village at dusk. We eat local delicacies called onsen manju. Onsen Manju are steamed Japanese style sweet dumplings. They are cooked in onsen steam and are filled with a wide variety of bean pastes. There are a number of shops in town that sell them. Don't eat too many because you may turn into one.
The tour leaves between 1 and 2 (dependent on the time of year) in the afternoon so you can still get in a perfect morning of skiing or snowboarding. We return at between 6 and 7 to Snowball Chalet.
Kids and adults love this tour (no sake for the kids of course).