Jigokudani, closeup with the Snow Monkey

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Jigokudani Monkey Park is famous for the Japanese macaque monkey better known as the snow monkey that enjoys sitting in the natural hot springs during the cold winter months.

The park is located about 250km north-west of Tokyo and can easily be done on as a day trip from Tokyo.

The park is inhabited by Japanese Macaques, which are also known as the famous Snow Monkey of Japan,
The monkeys sit around, cleaning each other in the natural hot spring that has been build into a pool or Onsen as it’s called in Japan.

The park is open all year, but it seems its only in winter tourist will visit the place since the place dost look any special when there’s no snow in the area and there’s no Snow monkey in the pool during the warmer months. There is usually snow in the park from December to March, and the best time to visit the park is from January to February. There’s nothing else to see in the park except for the snow monkey, they scenery it’s nothing to brag home about.
The entrance gate to the park
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Be sure to use some proper footwear, it’s pretty slippery
The park is open all year, but it seems its only in winter tourist will visit the place since the place dost look any special when there’s no snow in the area and there’s no Snow monkey in the pool during the warmer months. There is usually snow in the park from December to March, and the best time to visit the park is from January to February. There’s nothing else to see in the park except for the snow monkey, they scenery it’s nothing to brag home about.
The so-called Hell’s Valley. Not much hell here.

The Snow monkey are very used to humans and they don´t seem to mind tourists putting their cameras just a few cm from their faces, you will get so close, that when some of the snow monkeys jump into the pool, will you get the water splash right on you.
There´s small information center/museum when you enter the Hot spring area, most of the information is in Japanese, but some part are translated into English as well.

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You remembered where you parked your car?
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Look at my you filthy Human.
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Social bath.

The park is open all year, but it seems its only in winter tourist will visit the place since the place dost look any special when there’s no snow in the area and there’s no Snow monkey in the pool during the warmer months.

There is usually snow in the park from December to March, and the best time to visit the park is from January to February.
There’s nothing else to see in the park except for the snow monkey, they scenery it’s nothing to brag home about.

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Just Hanging out.
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Someone is enjoying themselves in the hot water.

Additional info about Jigokudani Monkey Park.

How to Get there:

Jigokudani Monkey park is easy to reach on a day trip from Tokyo, especially if you have to Japan Rail Pass and can use the Shinkansen train.
You can also reach the park by using the bus, but it will take a lot longer time.

First, you need to the Shinkansen to Nagano, the high-speed train does the 220km trip in 86min.

Then from Nagano, take another bus leaving from right outside the train station, it’s about a 40min bus ride from the train station to the park entrance. The bus will drop you off just outside the park entrance and then you will have to walk for another  20-30min, to reach the hot-spring. It’s a very easy walk.

The bus from Tokyo also stops right outside the train station.

There’re English signs outside the train station of which bus to take, there’s also a small tourist information inside the train station with English speaking staff that will be able to help you out.

The bus from outside the train station to the park entrance is 1400yen.

Ticket.

The entrance tickets to the park are 500 yen.

Opening Hours

Summer: 8:00 – 17:00
Winter: 9:00 -16:00

Food

There’s nowhere to buy food inside the park, so you are best of with eating in Nagano before/after you have visited the park.

Live Cam

There’s a live webcam, that’s aimed at the hot spring where the snow monkey relaxes, you can watch it here.

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10 Comments
  1. Why they are all red-faced? Is this due to the snow? Or they are unhappy to see an outsider crashing their party? lol

  2. Oh, I want to have a monkey life in that park 😉 Hanging out in the warm water, relaxing and getting my picture take by tourists. Sounds like the glam life in the animal kingdom. Maybe the “real house wives of Jigokudani” could be the next big thing?

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