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Zenko-ji Temple

Zenko-ji Temple: Our most recommended tours and activities

Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

1. Nagano: Snow Monkeys, Zenkoji Temple & Sake Day Trip

A great tour for all seasons, this is a 1-day guided tour of the most famous attractions of Nagano City and Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley”, home of the Snow Monkeys. Take a scenic route to see the cutest monkeys in the world, then experience the tranquility of Zenkoji Temple and lively Nakamise shopping street. For guests traveling from Hakuba, from December through March, your journey can begin with a shuttle from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal at 7:55 AM; otherwise, meet your guide at Nagano Station at 9:35 AM (please be at your chosen pickup point in advance of the meetup time as the tour needs to depart on-time). Famous for being the temple to hold the first Buddhist statue in Japan. Zenkoji Temple has a special energy and welcomes people of all faiths and religions. The temple grounds are beautiful and tranquil; there are hidden gems to explore, such as the dark tunnel running under the temple, said to be where you can gain enlightenment by finding the “Key To Paradise”. After lunch, return to Nagano Station again by public transport and take local bus from there to the Snow Monkeys. World-famous for their rare habit of soaking in the hot spring and living in the snow, these amazing macaques will let you get really close to them for some great photo opportunities and an unforgettable experience. After saying goodbye to the snow monkeys, stroll back along the tranquil forest trail to a delicious lunch at the restaurant near the trail exit. After seeing the Snow Monkeys, head to the local Japanese sake brewery to try various types of sake maybe even find a nice souvenir for yourself.

Osaka: Kyoto Coast, Amanohashidate and Ine Bay 1-Day Trip

2. Osaka: Kyoto Coast, Amanohashidate and Ine Bay 1-Day Trip

Join a full-day trip to experience a blend of natural beauty and unique culture from a meeting point in Osaka or Kyoto. Take in the magnificent vistas of Amanohashidate, seek blessings at Zenkoji Temple, and uncover the secrets of Kyoto at the boathouses of Ine. Accompanied by your guide and driver, venture to Amanohashidate, a sand bar known as one of Japan's three most scenic views. Stretching 3.6 km along the Japan Sea and Amanohashidate Bay, this masterpiece of nature has been formed by coastal sedimentation, adorned with around 8,000 pine trees. Admire white sandy beaches to the east and west – a truly unique natural landscape. See how the shape resembles a bridge reaching towards the sky, giving it the name “Amanohashidate” or Heaven's Bridge. Soak in pure natural beauty and ocean views of the islands. If you wish, take a cable car to Mt. Monju to behold Amanohashidate from an observation deck at your expense. From this vantage point, see Amanohashidate shaped like a dragon soaring into the sky, earning it the name “View of the Flying Dragon”. Enjoy a sightseeing car and attractions designed for all ages. Next, head to the Chionji Temple, also known as Bussharado (a temple for academic success). The temple's gate is the largest in the Tango region. Observe the unique fan-shaped omikuji (fortune-telling paper). When hung upside down, the width of the fan varies, symbolizing gradual improvement. Nearby, see the revolving bridge connecting Amanohashidate and Bussharado on land. When large ships need to pass, the bridge rotates 90 degrees to allow them through. Or head to the Amanohashidate Hot Springs to relax in natural spring waters with a view. Give the outdoor foot bath a try for free. Finally, journey to the charming world of Ine Boathouses, one of Kyoto's hidden gems. Marvel at the small fishing village renowned for its traditional boat-house architecture. Explore Ine on foot or by bicycle, or feed seagulls by boat , all while appreciating the coastal scenery.

Zenkoji Experience Tour: Overnight 'Shukubo' (Temple Lodge)

3. Zenkoji Experience Tour: Overnight 'Shukubo' (Temple Lodge)

Designed to provide guests with an intimate yet entertaining understanding of Nagano’s near-1,400 year-old Zenko-ji temple, this half-day group tour combines an in-depth guided experience at the temple including a private ‘goma’ prayer fire ceremony and an exploration of the region’s food culture and renowned ‘sake’ with an overnight stay at a traditional ‘shukubo’ (temple lodging).

Food & Cultural Walking Tour around Zenkoji temple in Nagano

4. Food & Cultural Walking Tour around Zenkoji temple in Nagano

Explore the greater part of Zenkoji temple town and sample authentic Japanese snacks and sweets on this small-group walking tour. Try traditional Nagano bites such as oyaki (Japanese stuffed dumplings), sweets, and matcha and meet local business owners in the area. Your guide will take you off the beaten path in Nagano and tell you all about the 1400-year history and culture while discovering parts of the city not found in guidebooks. * Taste 2 Oyaki(Japanese Stuffed Dumplings), Soba Tea in front of a traditional Japanese sunken hearth. * Explore Nagano’s back street area, where is not on your guide book and you see 1400 years history of national treasure temple * Having a Matcha tea in the traditional Japanese style tea place. * Learn and practice authentic Japanese eating style and discover other parts of Nagano outside of your guidebook. * Connect with local business owners to learn the history and local culture. * Photography Tour : we will be on hand to take some happy snaps which will be shared with you after the tour! Note: Please let us know if you have any food restrictions beforehand.

Top sights near Zenko-ji Temple

Other Sightseeing Options in Zenko-ji Temple

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What people are saying about Zenko-ji Temple

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 69 reviews

I'd do this tour again in a heartbeat. The tour of the temple was great, as was learning about the history of the area. The sake tasting was interesting and lunch was quite nice.

A very memorable trip.. December is good timing to visit!! would recommend everybody to join..

The guide was fantastic. Good humoured and knowledgeable!