Watch The Snow Monkey Taking A Bath In A Hot Spring!
If you are planning on visiting Nagano area when you are in Japan, don’t forget to stop by the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park! The park is the only place in the world where you can see monkeys taking a bath in the hot springs!
The Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is located in the Northern part of Nagano prefecture, precisely in the Jigokudani Valley. The valley was named as Jigokudani, as the weather is extremely hot during the summer and extremely cold during the winter. The gaps of the temperature are sometimes torturing, so the valley was named as the Hell Valley afterall. Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park was established as a natural preservation for the snow monkeys, so there are no fences that separate the visitors and the monkeys, so basically you can interact with the monkeys if you want to. Indeed, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park was built on a real valley of a mountain, creating a perfect ecosystem consisting other animals, plants, and insects in it.
At Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, you can see the Japanese snow monkeys inhabit there naturally for ages. You can find Japanese snow monkeys in most parts of Japan but Hokkaido and Okinawa, but at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, you can see these snow monkeys taking a bath in the hot springs. The snow monkeys are not only taking a bath in the hot springs, but with their mischevious characteristics, sometimes you can see them playing around splashing the water to each other as well.
The reasons why these monkeys are soaking themselves inside the hot springs are to maintain their internal body temperature during the winter. The weather at Jigokudani Valley is extremely cold during the winter, and the hot springs of the park has a function to protect the snow monkeys from severe cold weather during the winter. Therefore, if you visit the park in the summer, you will not be able to see the monkeys taking a bath in the hot springs.
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is accessible from Nagano Station. You just have to take the express bus to Shiga Kogen and get off at the Snow Monkey Park bus stop. After that, you have to walk around 35 minutes to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park by yourself.
Have a pleasant winter journey in Japan by visiting Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, the only place where you can see monkeys taking a bath in the hot springs! In addition to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Nagano is also a great winter destination in Japan, as it has one of the best ski resorts in Japan. If you have time, don’t forget to visit Hakuba Ski Resort for a wonderful winter sports adventure!
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00 (April-October) and 9:00-16:00 (November-March)
Close on unscheduled holidays, usually open 7 days a week
Admission Fee (tax included): Single ticket for adults 500 JPY, Group tickets for adults (more than 20 people) 420 JPY per person, Annual Pass for adults 3,000 JPY, Single ticket for children 250 JPY, Group tickets for children (more than 20 people) 210 JPY per person, Annual Pass for children 1,500 JPY