I thought it might be nice to begin this post with a slightly creepy photo. You will have to scroll to the end to see more pictures like this one!
Let’s re-start with something less creepy! We awoke to beautiful weather for our 2nd day in Nagano…
We were in Nagano prior to climbing Mt. Fuji. At the time, I thought 1,400m was high up. It was probably a good thing I didn’t know that Fuji-san was 3,776m tall!
The area in which we stayed is known for it’s natural hot springs and the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the wild monkeys, so we asked the staff for directions to park. Rather than giving us directions and sending us out on our own, the staff actually drove us to the monkey park! We are so thankful for their kindness. The park is in a remote location, so it would have been very challenging for us to find it on our own!
The name Jigokudani, meaning “Hell’s Valley”, is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold and hostile forests. -Wikipedia
Click here for short, but descriptive National Geographic article on Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park.
Shawn took the next photo…I love it!
Over 200 monkeys live in the park and bathe in the natural hot springs year round. The park is blanketed in heavy snow for 3-4 months, so the monkeys spend a lot of time in the hot springs during the winter.
Click here to check out the LIVE SNOW MONKEY WEB CAM! Make sure you do it when it’s daytime in Japan, otherwise you probably won’t see much. 🙂
“Hmmm…it looks like I need a manicure.”
This is finally the end of our trip to Nagano. We took a taxi out of the monkey park, then caught the local train to Nagano, and then boarded the Shinkansen to return Tokyo. (Sometimes I feel like we’e on the Amazing Race.) We were only in Nagano for 1.5 days, but we did a lot in a short amount of time!