The kids jumping around (Jigokudani Yaen-Koen/地獄谷野猿公苑)

Even the day was cold, temperature of this day was -6 degrees in Celsius, 21 degrees in Fahrenheit, the kids were playing around joyfilly.

The monkeys in this area have childbirth on April.
As April is a period that warm season starts, it is good for starting child rising.

Since eight or nine months had passed, the kids grown quite big.

It is said that the first monkey who went in the hot spring was a kid monkey.

As the kid monkey knew the hot spring warms himself during a winter time, soon whole monkeys in the troop knew it.

At the beginning, the monkeys were in the nature hot springs, but since human knew their behavior, created artificial hot springs to observe them.

Now we can see the monkeys this close.

Kids were running around really near to human.

The kids seemed so fluffy.

It is still cold here in Japan, but getting warm these days.
The next winter, they will become bigger and grown up.

I want come back to this place again, and meet them.

Thank you for reading!
Have a good weekend!!


How wonderful living with sweet family (Jigokudani Yaen-Koen/地獄谷野猿公苑)

At the park, I saw a lot of families were living together.
They seemed all staying close.

Most of them were grooming each other.

I searched what they are really doing it for.
As monkeys are animals with fur, lice bits them.

Not only bit, the monkeys can be skin diseases by those small lice.
To prevent the harm, even a child monkeys tries to catch lice.

Grooming is also a way to show the affection.
It is said that they only do this to the family or partners.

The winter maybe strict to them, but all seem living happily.
What I thought was that nothing will compare to love for family.

The child monkey maybe got hot staying too long in the hot spring.
Look at his tummy. Isn't it so cute?

Soon started to groom himself.
I thought that the grooming is a thing like drying the body with towel. Human kids maybe running around before doing it. Thinking about this, he is well educated by parents.

Thank you for reading!!
One day to go for weekend.

Good night!


Snow monkeys, the animal who enjoys hot spring (Jigokudani Yaen-Koen/地獄谷野猿公苑)

Before the heavy snow fall in January, I went to a park called "Jigokudani Yaen-Koen/地獄谷野猿公苑)".

This park maybe famous to foreign people, too.
It is the only place where the wild monkeys takes a bath in hot springs.

It was about a month since I visit there. After few days I had visited there, the heavy snow had fell all around in Japan. In my pictures, there are only few snow.

Still there were few snow, it was so cold!!
I was wearing a socks for skiing, but could't get so warm.

The temperature of this day was -6 degrees in Celsius, 21 degrees in Fahrenheit.
In this kind of cold days, the monkeys get in hot springs to warm themselves.

This park had opened in year 1964.
The purpose of this park was to observe the wild monkeys from near place.

The park located northern part of Nagano prefecture, about 250 kilometers from Tokyo.
To go this place, please see the site below.

Home page to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen's official site 

Home page to tours visiting Jigokudani Yaen-Koen.

I went there using a car, but it also took 30 more minutes to the hot spring from the parking lot.
As the bus stop is same place from a parking lot, everyone have to walk same way.

The entrance was like this.
You will see the map to there.

You may see "SNOW MONKEY PARK 1.8km".
Few minutes from the map, there a building at the entrance.

You can rent or buy some warm clothes and shoes here.

The road is not so bad this day.
But the official homepage always let us wear a shoes for trekking.

Walking this road for half an hour.
I though a small frozen stream.

At the end of the road, I saw first monkeys.

There are some rules people must keep while staying this place.

1. Don't get too close to monkeys.
2. Don't stare at monkey's eyes.
3. Don't touch the monkeys.
4. Don't feed the monkeys.

To keep the relationship with wild monkeys, people must keep these rules.
I think they are volunteers, I saw staffs are giving cautions to the people who get to close to monkeys.

Before getting inside of the park, I saw a monkey eating human's snack.
I think the visitor didn't feed them, but got robbed it by the monkeys.

Even though the monkeys robbed the snacks, I think the visitor who had robbed have a responsibility to breaking rule. They must not bring any snacks here.

Before getting inside of the park, I saw steams coming out from the ground.

The name of the park, Jigokudani means "the valley in hell".
As there are lot's of rocks and steams coming up from all over the places, ancient people may felt horrible and named the place as hell.

Going up the hill, and finally reached the entrance.

At the entrance, you will see the sign.
The rules are written here.

Entrance fee was 500 yen for an adult.
Entering the park, I soon see the monkeys.

These monkeys must be in the hot spring for few minutes before.
Their fur were little wet.

I was wondering that how they dry their fur after getting in hot spring without get cold.

The guide book had an answer.

As the monkeys don't have as many sweat glands as human, they won't get sweat.
We human gets soon cold because we sweat easily.
These sweats lets heats out in the air and the temperature of the body goes down.

As monkeys doesn't sweat, they won't get cold easily.
Even the ice cold place, if they once got warm, they can keep their heat by this reason.

This little monkey maybe counting 100 before getting out the hot springs.

I took more and more monkey's pictures, so I will introduce them in few days.

Thank you for reading!!
Have a good night!!

As it is during maintenance, there was a live camera.
Please click here to see them in real time.


Glazed frost, the crystal-clear trees covering the mountain. (U-hyou/雨氷)

At the end of January,  a rare phenomena had seen in Matsumoto city.
The phenomena is called glazed frost, "U-hyo/雨氷" in Japanese.

This phenomena is so rare that the people around me all said that they never see it before.

What is glazed frost, and how they occur?
I have searched about it a little.

Usually, the water will become ice when the temperature is under 0 degree.
But on certain conditions, the water's temperature can become under 0 degree without changing to ice.

When the molecule is really stable, water 's temperature can become under 0 degree.

What happen when those cold water fall from sky as a rain?
They sticks to the trees, and soon changes to ice.
If this continues, trees gets frosted.

This is the way how the glazed frost occurs.

On this day, I was driving a car from Matsumoto city to Suwa city, to the southern area of Nagano prefecture.

The weather was fine, but the color of mountain was white.
It becomes white with snow, but it was little different this day.

The color seemed a little gray, not real white.
As the frost is transparent, the color of trees and mountain can be seen through the ice.
This maybe made the color seemed like gray.

When climbing up the mountain pass, I saw a lot of frozen trees.
At this time, I realized that I'm watching an unusual something.

This place was an entrance to highland called "Takabocchi highland (高ボッチ高原)".

The entrance of Takabocchi higland.

The trees were reflecting sunlight, and seemed as if chandelier.
I'm not sure what kind of tree this is. I think it is tree of cherry blossom.
I will come back here again when spring comes and will confirm what this tree was.

On the way going back to Matsumoto city, I went to hot spring called  "Gake-no-yu Hotspring/崖の湯".

Going through the tunnel of trees and frozen roads, I have reached there.

As it was so slippery road, I was little scared driving.

At the hotel named "Yakushi-daira Akane jyuku (薬師平茜宿)", I heard that negative side of this phenomena. Thousands of trees downed by the weight of the ices stick on their branches.

Yakushi-daira Akane jyuku (薬師平茜宿)

I've saw a lots of trees bent to weird directions.
The fallen tree had cut electrical cables, some area lost electric power for few days.
A news told me that an hotel called "Myojin kan (明神館)" were trapped for few days.

News: The guests trapped by glazed frost walked to get down the mountain 

The scenery were so beautiful, but it was so cold taking picture there.

The ice cold scenery reminded me the movie "Frozen".

What I knew was that beauty of the nature is also close to danger hazard.

Thank you for reading!!
Have a nice weekend!!