You’ve read rave reviews, you’ve seen spectacular photos, and you’ve watched them bathe in the hot springs online. Now it’s your turn to finally make the trip out to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, or Snow Monkey Park, to see why so many people love to observe the Japanese Macaque in its natural habitat.
Jigokudani Yaen-koen sits at an altitude of 850 meters and is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture. Watching the snow monkeys is one thing, but getting to the site is another! The park is buried in snow for at least one third of the year, so if you decide to visit in the winter you must come prepared. The Yumichi Natural Trail is about 2km long; mainly a nice and flat course, but there are some slopes. It will take approximately 30 minutes by foot and you must proceed with caution. Wear appropriate snow and hiking gear to ensure a safe journey on the terrain that can be rather fluffy, slushy, muddy, and very slippery.
Find out more about Jigokudani Monkey Park.
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Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, for 5 years. In 2010, I arrived with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect memories to last a lifetime. Then, there was the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. I will never forget that experience and the devastating effects it had on the entire country. I asked the community, “What can I do to help?” Collecting, sorting, and packing donations, was the least I could do. I also went to California for 1 month, raised a monetary donation for Red Cross, and secured phone interviews to help spread the word on how others from the USA could assist. I was determined to show my family, friends, and folks across the world that it would be okay to return to Japan. I wanted them to know that the little things that make up this beautiful country still existed. What better way than to use a platform such as Japan Travel to share photos and stories full of life, history, and culture. It is a pleasure to say I have contributed more than 150 articles to a database that now collectively holds more than 15,000! This journey has not only allowed me to realize my initial goals, but I’d like to think that it has somehow played a role in sparking an interest locally and across the globe for others to experience all that is published here and more. I invite you to also share your wonderful stories, offer comments, and ask questions right here. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Safe travels! ٩( ๑╹ ꇴ╹)۶