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!!

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