The official name for the Snow Monkey Park is, Jigokudani yaenkoen (地獄谷野猿公苑). It is part of Shigakogen National Park in Yamanouchi District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Jigokudani, meaning “Hell’s Valley”, is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out from the ground. In winter, these creatures soak themselves in the warm waters of the onsen (hotsprings). They are quite used to the tourists snapping photos while they enjoy their baths.
Last year , we drove to the town of Yamanouchi and hiked for a 3 km to see these beautiful creatures. We took a good 2 hours to hike slowly and immersed ourselves in the wilderness of nature. It was our second visit to the park. The first was a disappointing one as the winter was still too early and we could not capture the beautiful white scenery of this park.
For us, residents of a urban jungle, wonders of nature always excite us. Especially in deep winter, when most things are coated with snow. The serenity simply took our breathe away.
We hiked along the path that cut through the coniferous trees. My missy was terribly bored sitting in her stroller. And we saw some loners along our way while enjoying the cool, fresh air.
A tiring hike but the reward was worth it.
There are quite a number of websites on the snow monkey park. These are the few I referred to.
Do feel free to drop a comment if you are interested to find out more about park. I might be able to help to provide some information base on my experience.