Jigokudani Monkey Park (地獄谷野猿公苑, Hell’s Valley) is a small park in the Nagano prefecture. It is about 45 minutes away from Nagano city, and located in the mountains. The region allows hundreds of Snow Monkeys to roam around freely and bath in the natural hot sprints.
The park is open throughout the entire year, however I highly recommend going during the winter. Although there is steam to combat with for taking photos, the smell is much more tolerable. Also, the Macaques are more common during the winter since they are primarily fed by the park rangers. During the summer they can easily forage for food in the forest.
For some reason, it is not too common among tourists who visit Nagano. I think the place is brilliant, although it is a bit remote. It is highly worth the visit I think.
FAMILY TIME – A family of macaques groom one another prior to jumping into the bath.
RAWR I’M A LION – An alpha male trying to scare off anyone trying to impose on its territory.
MY SEED – A young macaque is chewing on some grain during lunch time.
PINK FACE – Macaques spend a lot of time in the natural thermal baths. As a result, their face turns really pink.
FURRY – A baby macaque sits on a fence waiting to get some attention by the visitors.
GRABBING MONKEY – A young macaque extends its arm hoping for some food or human interaction
REFLECTION – Reconsidering its choice of sitting by the side where there is a large piece of turd