Monkey parks abound in Japan, but Jigokudani Monkey Park is one of its own. It’s a place where you can see bathing monkeys in their natural environment – in a Japanese hot spring(onsen) nearby a river. While there are some other monkey parks in Japan, this is the only one where you can see them bathing and relaxing.
The park is a big natural park with many hiking trails and lots of monkeys. You can visit anytime of the year! However, it is recommended to visit in winter because it’s more photogenic when it’s snowing.
The springs are in the name. In the middle of the hot water field – the literal meaning of Yudanaka.
The park is located in Yamanouchi town. Yamanouchi is very close to Yudanaka, a famous hot spring town in Nagano prefecture. The park is easily accessed by Nagaden Railway from Nagano city and then from Yudanaka where there are buses which depart from in front of Yudanaka station.
The buses are for both Snow Monkey Park and Kanbayashi Onsen.
After getting off at either stop (they are close to each other) you need to walk around 30 mins to reach the monkey park. Walking can be a little bit hard especially while it is raining or snowing. Please don’t forget to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
There are many signs on the road about the rules you need to follow.
Jigokudani monkey park covers a large area, and the monkeys are really talented at stealing food, so please read the warning signs and travel safe.
There is a small cafe/restaurant after entering the park itself as well as a hot spring for humans and a few small hotels. You can enjoy hot tea or coffee after your trip, and even eat some local food for reasonable prices.
The monkeys are living in their natural habitat. As long as you don’t disturb them, it is a very interesting experience to watch them as they play, clean each other and of course relax in the hot spring. Don’t miss this chance to visit these hot spring monkeys: the most laid back monkeys in the world!
|Name||Jigokudani Monkey Park|
|Address||6845 Yamanouchi-machi Shimotakai-gun Nagano Japan 381-0401|
|Access||[map]6845 Yamanouchi-machi Shimotakai-gun Nagano Japan 381-0401[/map]|
|Opening Hours||Summer (usu. Apr.-Oct.) 8:30-17:00 ; Winter (Nov.-Mar.) 9:00-16:00|
|Price Range||Adult: Single/¥800; Group (20+people)/¥680; Annual Pass/¥5,000 -- Child: Single/¥400; Group (20+people)/¥340; Annual Pass/¥2,500|