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Jigokudani Monkey Park - See Monkeys Bathing In Hot Springs

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The Japanese macaque is a monkey native to Japan. At Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, visitors can observe these creatures up close throughout the year. They are especially famous for their habit of bathing in the onsen hot springs in the winter.

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Have you ever heard of the Japanese macaque? These monkeys native to Japan often appear in traditional Japanese tales. Other than the humans, they are said to be the farthest north living primates. They are widely known as Snow Monkeys as well.

Today we'll be introducing Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture where visitors can observe the Japanese macaque up close all year long.

The park is especially fun in the winter, when you can see the monkeys bathing in onsen hot springs. It's a very popular spot attracting tourists from all over the globe. In this article, we share how to enjoy the home of the Snow Monkeys, Jikokudani Monkey Park, to the fullest.

Jigokudani Monkey Park

jigokudani yaen kouen

Jigokudani Monkey Park is located in Yamanouchi, a town in the northeastern region of Nagano. The area is known for its natural surroundings, onsen, and its various winter sports attractions.

Visitors to the park can see Japanese macaque in their natural environment without any bars in between, allowing them to learn what kind of animal the Japanese macaque is throughout the year. It's said that such facilities are rare worldwide.

snow monkeys

Photo courtesy of: Jigokudani Monkey Park

During the spring, from April to June, you can meet newborn babies here. In the summer these baby monkeys will start to run around the park and goof off with their friends.

The monkeys continually move their living space to where they feel is safe, and don't have a permanent settlement or territory. The strength of the mother indicates the strength of the family. Their faces are red and their bottoms are blue. One could go on and on about these curious monkeys.

snow monkeys

Photo courtesy of: Jigokudani Monkey Park

You'll see Japanese macaque all over the grounds of the park. They'll often walk right by you. It's amazing how close you can get to these creatures. Let's see what else the park has to offer.

Just Like Humans: Bathing Snow Monkeys


These are the Snow Monkeys that fascinate tourists from all over the world. They seem to be having a great time relaxing in the hot springs. You might even think they were one of us.


Only the female monkeys and children are usually seen bathing in the onsen. The male monkeys often endure the cold, as do the younger females.

In general, monkeys around the globe don't like to get wet, but as the macaque of Jigokudani inhabit an area of heavy snowfall, it's said that they learned to bathe in the hot springs to keep warm. Their adorable behavior caught peoples' attention and soon came to be known around the world.


Not all of the monkeys bathe in the water. Regardless of their power structure and relations, there are families who bathe and families that don't. Only the ones who have been used to bathing since they were young grow up to continue the habit.


Getting to know about the Snow Monkeys is great, but what pleases visitors the most is their priceless expressions.

Jigokudani Monkey Park has live cameras set up, so if you want to have a look at the monkeys, you can check out their official website.

What to Be Careful of

snow monkeys

Photo courtesy of: Jigokudani Monkey Park

Here are some points of note from Jigokudani Monkey Park. The monkeys are not tamed like pets and do not think of us humans as friends.

Please do not show or give the monkeys any food, do not touch them, and do not get too close with a selfie stick. Please treat the creatures as you would want to be treated.


The area is a nature-rich environment inhabited by many wild animals. Cars and other vehicles cannot venture far into the forest. The region receives heavy snow, so do not come in sneakers or sandals in the winter. If you slip and fall, resulting in an injury, ambulances cannot come into the forest and you will be transported out on a stretcher.

In addition to being aware of how to interact with the Japanese macaque, please also be prepared with the appropriate attire and equipment so you can enjoy observing the monkeys without any trouble.

There are various ways to reach Jigokudani Monkey Park. Please check here for more information.

Cooperation: Jigokudani Monkey Park

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