SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – JAPAN’S SNOW MONKEYS

Today is a combination of a where and a what: Japan and its snow monkeys (Japanese macaque). Although the snow monkeys are found in the wild in various areas of Japan there are some parks where they can be visited. Two such parks are Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama close to Kyoto and The Jigokudani Yaenkoen Park near Nagano with the later being the more well known. Aside from humans, these macaques are the only primates to inhabit cold and northern climates. So when you venture to see these snow-loving monkeys be prepared to withstand the cold and snow yourself. I have read that it is a trek in and of itself to view them. Well worth it I have no doubt.

Japanese Macaque in the hot springs at Jigokudani Yaenkoen park

Japanese Macaque in the hot springs at Jigokudani Yaenkoen park

These light brown-gray furred primates are quite intelligent. They have also become accustomed to humans, both in the parks and outside. Additionally, snow monkeys enjoy bathing in hot springs and rolling in the snow for fun.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

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