If you follow me on IG you might remember a day trip we did a few days back. I shared snippets from our trip to Jigokudani Monkey Park, the famous snow monkey park of Japan. Today I will share a detailed post with more pictures and some pieces of information.
First off, this is a place I always wanted to go to. We have been in Japan for over 3 years now but there is so much to do and so much to see in this country that I can't even. Last week we got a chance to plan a trip to this amazing Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano prefecture.
It's not very near from Tokyo but when you have to do something you have to do it. It is around 4 hrs drive. We rented a car from Tokyo and started our day pretty early (~8 am). Initially, we thought to include Matsumoto castle in our itinerary as well (along with an onsen) but later on, we had to skip it.
Getting Around Jigokudani Monkey Park
Jigokudani Monkey Park is a part of Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park. Here, you can see wild snow monkeys (macaques) enjoying a bath in natural hot spring. I have heard of two routes to reach the onsen where snow monkeys bathe but I will focus on the one that we followed. We parked our car at the Kanbayashi onsen parking lot, which has free parking and started our hike from there. It is about 1.6 km (~30-45 min) from there.
Hiking Trail for Jigokudani Monkey Park
The hiking trail is not very difficult, it takes you through a forest and at times the path is quite narrow. I'd suggest wearing proper shoes, especially if you plan on going while there is still snow. Hiking and proper gear always go hand-in-hand. I wore my trusted snow boots and they saved me big time. We went on a very beautiful sunny day so we didn't have to carry an umbrella but you should always keep one in the case of emergency (we left ours in the car); you can never be too sure with rain. There is also a little souvenir shop just before the start of the hike that also carries rental supplies for hiking, you can check it out if need be.
Do's & Don't's
Once you reach the Jigokudani Monkey Park, you can enjoy the sight of monkeys playing around in the snow and hot spring. You might get icky to pose and get yourself clicked with these snow monkeys as well. They wander everywhere freely. However, you shouldn't bring anything to feed them; also, avoid carrying loose plastic bags or anything like that may provoke them to attack. Do not bring your pets, especially dogs as they are considered enemies of monkeys. Do not bring your selfie stick, if you do don't use it here.
After leaving the Jigokudani Monkey Park, we headed for an onsen to relax. Then we headed to a nice and warm soba restaurant and once all stuffed with goodness we headed back to Tokyo.
Timings: Winter (November-March) 09:00 to 16:00 | Summer (April - October) 08:30 to 17:00 | Open 7 days a week except for closure due to weather conditions Admission fare: Adult 500 ¥, Children 210 ¥ For more information, check the official website here
I hope you enjoyed reading through this post and virtually traveling to Jigokudani Monkey Park with me. Have you been to this place before? Share your views in the comments, I'd love to know how you liked it. 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by and reading, have a great day!