Jigokudani is famous for its hot springs and the macaque monkeys that bathe in them. It is the only place in the world where wild monkeys bathe in hot springs. Jigokudani is located at an altitude of 850 meters in Nagano Prefecture. The steep cliffs and the steam rising from the hot springs gave Jigokudani the name "Hell Valley".
The Monkey Park was established in 1964 and if you want to see the macaques bathe in the hot springs while everything around them is covered in snow, you should visit between December and March. January and February are most likely to see the spectacle in the snowstorm.
The monkeys are wild and can always climb the steep walls of the gorge or follow the Yokoyu River upstream to greater heights. To visit the onsen you have to walk a short 30- to 40-minute hike.
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