[YOUTUBE] Snow monkeys! | Jigokudani Yaen Park in Japan
What is Jigokudani Yaen Park?
Jigokudani Yaen Park is a small natural park that is famous for its large population of snow monkeys and their unique custom. During winter, snow monkeys come down from the steep cliffs to BATHE in a hot spring.
What to see?
1. Snow monkeys bathing in a hot spring.
Needless to say, this is the most fun thing in the park and the main reason visitors come here.
You can see monkeys bathing all year round, but they are especially photogenic in Winter.
2. Finding Ryuo, the leader of the pack.
In addition to seeing snow monkeys bathing, it is also entertaining to try finding Ryuo, the leader of the pack. Ryuo is a title for the alpha male of the troop that has been passed from generation to generation. The current leader is Ryuo the 15th.
You can see the pictures of successive leaders– including current Ryuo— at the information center in the park.
Hint: Almost every monkeys in a hot spring are either female or child. Male monkeys tend not to bathe because they always want to be ready for the enemy. Also, they dislike getting wet and looking smaller.
3. Hot Spring resorts near the park.
Although the Jigokudani monkey park is within a day trip distance from Tokyo, it would be an interesting experience to spend a night at a hot spring resort near the park, such as Yudanaka or Shibu. If snow monkeys can enjoy a hot spring, why can’t we?
Did you know?
How many monkeys are there?
There are about 160 monkeys. They all belong to one troop.
How long do they live?
They usually live for 25-30 years.
Why do they bathe in a hot spring?
To escape the severe cold of Winter. On fine days, monkeys prefer sunbathing than getting wet.
What is the temperature of the hot spring?
It is about 41°C in wintertime, 30°C during Summer.
Do they hurt people?
As long as you do not feed or touch monkeys, people are neither their enemy or friends. They almost completely ignore humans.
How is the weather?
You can check the park’s webcam from here.