Yudanaka Onsen, a popular hot springs resort, features a history dating back hundreds of years. One of the largest of several onsen (hot springs) in the region, Yudanaka still maintains its historic charm with gently sloped streets lined with structures housing hot springs and foot baths, both especially pleasant during the cold, snowy months of December through March. The town of Yudanaka also has a variety of family-owned Japanese inns, known as ryokans, for visitors who want to stay overnight to explore the region.
Humans aren't the only ones who take advantage of Yudanaka's natural hot springs—the area is famously known for the troop of Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, that reside in Yokoyu Valley and bathe in the hot spring pools inside Jigokudani Monkey Park.
Yudanaka Onsen can be reached via the Nagaden Nagano line; it's at the line's last stop.
While the snow monkeys in the area are certainly fascinating to observe, travelers should note that they are still wild animals and refrain from touching them, feeding them, or getting into the pools with them.
Travelers with tattoos should be sure to inquire about the facility's tattoo policy if planning to visit one of the town's onsen. Tattoos remain a sensitive subject in Japan, and many onsen only allow tattooed visitors if their tattoos are completely covered by a sticker or tape.