Getting to the Snow Monkeys in Yamanouchi, Nagano
|Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Yamanouchi Town, Nagano Prefecture.
In recent years the 'snow monkeys' of Jigokudani have become world famous with people from all corners of the globe arriving in Yamanouchi to see them close up, playing and relaxing in the onsen hot springs.
The Jigokudani Yaenkoen Monkey Park opened in 1964 and since then people have been visiting to observe the the Japanese Macaque. up close The Japanese Macaque is a monkey species native to northern Japan, and is the most northern-living non-human primate, surviving winter temperatures of below -15 °C. They have brown-grey fur, a red face, hands and bottom, and a short tail - and often seem remarkably human like...
Wild monkeys can sometimes be seen around many snow regions of Honshu. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to be driving along and see some walking by the side of the road. Those monkeys are somewhat wilder than the monkeys found at Jigokudani, where you are almost guaranteed sightings.... the Jigokudani monkeys seem to enjoy the onsen hot springs and also the food that is provided!
The monkey park is located in Yamanouchi town, at the base of the Shiga Kogen ski and snowboard region.
They are now so popular with foreign visitors that day trips to the park are available from popular ski and snowboard resort areas like Hakuba, Myoko, Nozawa Onsen and further afield. It is probably worth asking your accommodation if they have any specific tour recommendation.
It's recommended that you have at least two hours. Don't forget to take your camera!
Jigokudani is open throughout the year.
There is only one way to get to the Shiga Kogen resorts during the winter season - via Route 292 from central Yamanouchi. So please refer to the Shiga Kogen Travel Guides (by train : by car) for more specific travel information on how to get there. The Jigokudani Monkey Park is located about 10km before the nearest of the Shiga Kogen resorts.