Snow Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaenkoen)

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.

    

Finally, we reached the entrance of the monkey park. My missy was getting excited but was her mood was soon dampened after she knew we needed to walk for another 800m to see the snow monkeys. 

 So she rattled on about why the monkeys were so far away and so on, while we continued briskly.  And after 15 mintues, we were greeted with this sight.

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.

  1. http://www.yudanaka-shibuonsen.com/
  2. http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/english/top/english.html 
  3. http://myoko-nojiri.com/snow_monkeys/

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.

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7 Responses to Snow Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaenkoen)

  1. Elena says:

    Looks like a very rewarding hike indeed! : ) Love all the shots!

  2. jbassal says:

    That looks amazing, I’ll be going to South Korea in a couple weeks and hope to go over to Japan again while I’m there, I’ll try and check this park out.

  3. Pingback: Travel Theme : Wild | Abusymom's Blog

  4. Annette says:

    Where can you park the stroller since you can’t bring it up all those stairs!?

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