I went at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park last January twice. First one was via bus tour, second one was via a private car. I must say I enjoyed the latter. This is because you can take control of your time, and you are not in a hurry. In case you take the bus tour, the tour company gives you a limited time and considering that there are lots of bus tours, expect the place to be overcrowded. Going to the place takes time already. You cannot enjoy it that much. The park is closed every Monday, entrance fee is 500 yen.
The Jigokudani Yaen-koen is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River which takes its water from Shiga-Kogen of the Jyoshinetsu-Kogen National Park in the northern part of Nagano prefecture. Looking at the very steep cliffs and the fountains of hot water, people started to call the valley ‘Jigokudani (Hell valley)’. The altitude is 850 meters, winter seasons in Jigokudani is so harsh, for example, temperatures drops to 10 degrees below zero and snow falls over 1 meter. more here
the warmth of hot springs
a refuge to snow monkeys
and loveless humans
and loveless humans
Going back there with a friend via a private car, we arrived before the park opens so we were able to roam around the area. And when the park opens, we were the first one to enter. It was completely different as if the park was all ours. We got a chance to take photos of the snow monkey freely. When we decided to go down, that is time bus tour companies had arrived. Snow monkeys in hot springs up close!!!
Also, don't be disappointed if you there will be no monkey when you visit. The park cannot control the monkeys to show up. It’s their sanctuary of sort. Snow monkeys roam freely in the area and are used to the presence of tourists.
Here’s the video of my last winter trip in Japan. Ah, memories.
Photos taken with Nikon D7000
lenses: 18-300 mm VR
105 mm 2.8f
Beautiful and stunning photos indeed. Greetings!ReplyDelete
Great post TotomaiReplyDelete
Thanks Jae, feel better :)Delete
What a treat! This post is a sanctuary to me now. Beautiful, beautiful Totomai. Thank you :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Sumana, missing Japan.Delete
What SPECTACULAR photos!!!!!!! Oh my goodness! I adore the haiku as well. Sigh. Thank you for this visual feast, Totomai! You are so gifted a photographer.ReplyDelete
Aww, thanks Sherry. I hate to admit, but suddenly I miss snow hahaDelete
Thank you so much, I loved the post. I remember years ago in Japan, when we saw the snow monkeys. Thanks for the memories.ReplyDelete
Amazing snow monkeys. They are not afraid of tourists. Thanks annellDelete
May the snow monkeys ALWAYS have their sanctuary, whether visitors can see them or not. Beautiful photos, Totomai.ReplyDelete
Yes, Mary. Some tourists were mad if snow monkeys don't show up.Delete
What a unique approach to the prompt. Love the photographs and haiku.ReplyDelete
What an enjoyable post Totomai. You certainly made the most of your time in Japan.ReplyDelete
And I am missing Japan terribly, Robin.Delete
Gorgeous photos and love the video and the music on it. A beautiful place indeed. Love your Haiku as well Hot pools are wonderful. We have them here as well. Must go there again sighReplyDelete
We all deserve to soak in hot pools once in a while, Marja.Delete
W O W !!!!ReplyDelete
Perhaps the humans must be loveless, but a few--if only a few--are there for love and loving. Your photos show the monkeys came to you and gave you their best sides.
We were lucky to be there before the bus tours arrived. Thanks SusanDelete
Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos. Wonderful to see.ReplyDelete
My pleasure, Bev.Delete
What amazing animals. Thank you for your words and stunning photos.ReplyDelete
They are. Thanks SaraDelete