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Visiting Japanese Monkeys

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If you are going to Japan, you might be interested in seeing Japanese monkeys. There are nice places where visitors can observe wild monkeys in the natural environment. They are fed by the park staff in specific areas and are used to being around people. Find out where to go to observe their natural behaviors and activities in close proximity. Please pay attention to the advice given by each park when you go.

Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Wild Monkey Park)

Snow Monkeys
Photo (c) Shizuko Mishima

It's located in Jigokudani valley in northern Nagano Prefecture. There is a large open-air hot spring bath built for the monkeys in the park, and many people visit there to see bathing monkeys, especially during the winter. They are popularly known as snow monkeys.
Location: Yamanouchi-machi Shimotakai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
Access: From JR Nagano Station, it takes about 50 minutes by Nagano Dentetsu Line limited express train to Yudanaka Station. From Yudanaka, take a bus or taxi to Kanbayashi Onsen. 30 minute walk to the park from Kanbayashi Onsen.

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

The park is located near the Togetsukyo Bridge, which is a symbol of Arashiyama in Kyoto. Over 100 wild monkeys live in Mt. Iwata. It's a 15-20 minute hike to the viewing platform located at the top of the mountain from the park entrance. The viewing platform is the monkey feeding area, and visitors can also enjoy great views of Kyoto-city.
Location: 8 Arashiyama Genrokuzan-cho Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-city
Access: 5 minute walk from Hankyu Line Arashiyama Station or Keifuku Line Arashiyama Station / 15 minute walk from JR Saga-arashiyama Station

Takasakiyama Shizen Dobutsuen (Natural Zoo)

Takasakiyama (Mt. Takasaki) located on the border of Oita-city and Beppu-city in Oita prefecture is a large inhabitat of Japanese monkeys. Over 1,000 wild monkeys come from the mountain to the feeding area of the park.
Location: 3098-1 Kanzaki Oita-city, Oita prefecture
Access: 25 minutes by bus from JR Oita Station to Takasakiyama Shizen Dobutsuen-mae stop. / 15 minute by bus from JR Beppu Station to Takasakiyama Shizen Dobutsuen-mae stop

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