For some reason it feels like the presence of us humans does not make these monkeys feel threatened. They seemed not to see our presence.
Their behavior is not like the monkeys that I often see in the Monkey forest in Bali, or on the outskirts of the Malimbu road in Lombok, whose hobby is stealing food from humans. They really are very calm — relaxing soaking in the hot springs, and seeming to follow the rules very much like the Japanese.
Erm, I don’t mean to equate the two creatures anyway. Is it because they are Japanese monkeys? Or because the temperature of minus two degrees makes them lazy to move?
I don’t know, but in my opinion, walking uphill for about two kilometers in the middle of a snowy pine forest really pays off!
How to get to Jigokudani Snow monkey Park
Jigokudani Snow monkey park is located in Nagano prefecture. The easiest way to get to Jigokudani is to take a bus from Nagano Station. You can also take the train, but later you have to take the bus again.
So if you are from Tokyo, you can take the shinkansen to Nagano first. At Nagano Station you can buy a Snow Monkey pass at the Kintetsu line counter. The price is 3500 yen (as of January 2019).
With this snow monkey pass, we include transport to get there (you can choose a bus/train) and a snow monkey pass. The price is quite cheap compared to you directly buy one by one. Not bad save a few hundred yen, can buy lunch hehe.
When I got there, the bus schedule seemed to leave earlier. So I chose to use the bus. Even though what I read on one of the travel review sites, taking the train would have a better view. Although it must be connected by bus.
Shinano limited express.
This is the train I use from Nagoya to Nagano. Because I was not from Tokyo at that time.
I chose this train over the shinkansen because of its unique shape. The front of the train had very large glass windows. So if you buy a green car ticket (train no.1/first class) you will be able to get a very wide view of the front of the train!
Of course I chose the ordinary class, but I sneaked into the first class a few times (don’t copy it, hihi) to take pictures. From Nagoya to Nagano it costs 6810 yen in ordinary class and non-reserved seats.
This train is not as fast as the shinkansen. The speed is still around 130 km / h. So Nagoya to Nagano is taken in 3.5 hours.
Trek to Jigokudani.
The road from the park gate to where the monkeys soak in the onsen is about 2 kilometers. The way is easy. It’s just that it’s long enough to cover a fairly slippery ridge, because the ground is covered with ice.
So make sure you bring the right track shoes. If possible waterproof because the track is very wet so slippery. Total normal running time is about 40 minutes.
If you are lucky like me, once in a while you will find snow monkeys crossing the tracks.
If you have found civilization again after walking in the forest, it means you are close to these monkeys. In this place there is a resort, which of course also has an onsen. Sometimes, this monkey goes to the wrong onsen. Instead of the one on top of the mountain, but instead entered the resort haha!
Oh yeah, you can’t bathe with these monkeys, okay? It is strictly forbidden because they could suddenly be noisy and fight with each other. Danger!
The garden area is the entire jigokudani valley which is quite wide. But almost everyone is centered in the hot springs where the monkeys soak. Lots of tourists with long lens cameras surround this cute monkey.
But remember, no matter how cute they are, don’t bother them in any way. Even though they look tame, they are still wild animals. So make sure you are at a safe distance. Don’t be seen carrying food or other eye-catching hanging objects. No matter how good these snow monkeys are, they are still monkeys!
Oh yeah, don’t forget to bring snacks because there’s no one selling food along the trail (of course, it’s a real mountain haha!)
For the video, you can see it below!
Create by ipadguides in category of Travel Story