Japanese Monkey – Jigokudani

4 years ago by in Travel

I know this is a little out of Tokyo, but I think your readers will forgive me for posting this because I think they would want to visit this place too.

When I was in the UK, I used to watch a lot of TV, and I remember watching one wildlife show about Japanese snow monkeys the Macaques. Why do I care about these Monkeys? Because they know how to chill ;-P

by Chill I mean, relax, not get cold or whatever weird images you have in your head

I realized then that I had to visit this place while I was in Japan. last year in the Autumn, I found that place.

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To get to Jigokudani, you have to first head all the way over to Nagano, where they held the winter olympics in 98. But once you are there, you have to take few local trains before you get to Jigokudani. It was nice watching the country side fly by. It felt a bit like My neighbor Totoro.

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We had to find a map in the station to get a better idea of where this place was. But once you get to the entrance, you have another 20 /30 minutes trek. At this point, if you are hauling anything like a travel suitcase, its probably wise to find a place to store it. I couldn’t find a locker and thats was no fun. One of simple pleasures you take for granted in Tokyo train stations.

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When you see forest track finally open up, you are greeted with this awesome mountain view. If only there was smell-o-vision with this website.

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This is the gateway to monkey land, and also the place to get acquainted with the area’s history and the local characters that live here.

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The big portraits you see on the top of the wall are of the Alpha monkey’s of the area. They all have the distinctly noble look about them. The photographers must have been very skilled to capture them in their moment. The pictures kind of remind me of the some Japanese offices I go to. I should stop there.

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Just because we designate this a hut for humans, doesn’t mean that monkeys can’t come here too. I was pretty surprised we could get this close.

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Baby monkey on a tree.

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Sleepy monkey on a tree

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Passed out money not on a tree.

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I love this pose, I actually know real people that sleep like this too. Oh wait, I said too much again.

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Onsen baby!

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the lady in the Youtube video was pretty insane.

1st, it was winter
2nd, it was in the Monkey onsen, which is pretty shallow
3rd, the Monkeys could have attacked her.

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Okay, kiddies, play nice, don’t climb in the onsen.

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The snow monkeys have an their own TV show. Come check them out here;
http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/livecam/monkey/index.htm

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Before, I leave you. I want to show you a very unrelated video.

This was one of big thing on my to do list in Japan. What is still on yours?