Nature is a wonderful and often surprising thing. Awe-inspiring at times, dangerous and life-threatening at others, the world is sometimes a muddle of contrasts. For example, South Africa has sun-worshipping beach penguins and Japan has snow-loving mountain monkeys.
The brownish-grey Japanese macaque, nicknamed the ‘Snow Monkey’, is the most northerly-living primate (aside from us humans) in the world and can be found on three of the four main Japanese islands: Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu.
While the usual image that comes to mind when we think of monkeys is of them swinging through tropical jungles, the red-faced Japanese macaque prefer the more leisurely pastime of enjoying regular onsen baths or playfully enjoying fun-filled snowball fights during the winter months!
One of the best places to see the Snow Monkeys enjoy these human-like activities is at one of the many hot springs in the Nagano prefecture. Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi town is one of the most famous onsen in Japan where you can bathe alongside the fun-loving primates.
Our Journey the Japanese Alps tour offers a sublime excursion that loops through the mountainous region on the way from Tokyo to Kyoto, or simply get in touch with one of our expert Travel Specialists based in Japan who would be delighted to customize one of our atmospheric adventures to include an onsen dip with a cheeky Snow Monkey.