Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Monkeys in snow take a hot bath in natural springs

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Japan is unique. Here you can see monkeys that soak in a hot spring in the snow. Yes, it really does exist.

It’s likely you will have seen the footage by now: in Japan, macaques (also known as snow monkeys) have learnt that hot springs are a perfect option for dealing with the cold winter weather.

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park has become famous thanks to the snow monkeys (Japanese macaques) that like to get into the hot springs in winter. It's clear the animals like to soak in a hot bath as much as humans do! So they all hop into various hot springs, to the pleasure of the tourists. And now they even their own webcam!

A macaque resting in the hot water in Japan. ©Jigokudani Yaen-koen

Best time to see the monkeys in Jigokudani hot springs

Japanese macaques live in the mountains of Japan. They’re used to cold winters, but they’re clever. Back in the 1960s some snow monkeys discovered the natural hot springs that occur near the town of Onsen. And in they got, just like the people who live there. Nowadays, they have their own private ‘baths’. These animals are famous on the internet now, and tourist travel to the small park with the hot springs to see the bathing snow monkeys in real life.

You can see lots of monkey behaviour. ©Jigokudani Yaen-koen

Where can I see the monkeys in the hot spring?

The monkey park is located at Yamanouchi in the Shimotakai District in Nagano Prefecture. There are buses in the winter, but you can also go here by taxi.

If you spend a while here you can see special behaviour. For example, notice how they sit comfortably in the water and then close their eyes. They are enjoying the warmth as well as resting.

The unique Japanese macaques

Japanese macaques live in the mountains of Japan. These animals are nowhere else to be found. The animals are certainly used to the cold winters. But they are known to be smart. In the 1960s, some animals discovered that the warm water appeared in some places. This was near the town of Onsen.

The Japanese macaques are an amazing sight. ©Jigokudani Yaen-koen

The animals climbed in, as many locals have done for centuries, with the intention of resting the body. The monkeys now have their own bath. These animals are popular on the internet for years now.

Webcam with live feed

The monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park can now also be seen on their own webcam, which refreshes every 3 minutes. Do keep in mind there might be a time difference between where you are and Japan.

There are also photos available on the website from previous days, simply click on the numbers in the left menu and the photos will pop up.

Webcam (especially fun in Japanese winter): Webcam Jigokudani Monkey Park

Visiting Jigokudani Monkey Park

The park is near Yamanouchi in the Shimotakai District in the Nagano Prefect.

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