The monkeys of Jigokudani   地獄谷野猿公苑

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Monkeys in an onsen near Nagano.

Monkeys in an onsen near Nagano.

The snowy road to Jigokudani (near Nagano).

The snowy road to Jigokudani (near Nagano).

Snow monkeys

Macaques lounging in hot springs in the heart of a forest blanketed in white: Welcome to Jigokudani, the park where monkeys rule.

It's called "Hell Valley" (Jigokudani)... but for its residents, it's more like heaven!

Hundreds of Japanese macaques live in the Japanese Alps and the region of Nagano, particularly in Jigokudani Yaen Koen. This park, which is specially dedicated to these monkeys, is an opportunity for a beautiful winter walk through a forest dotted with hot springs, and a meeting with these noisy primates.

Visit the monkeys on a bus trip with Voyagin.

Smart macaques

You'll notice that Japanese macaques are rather clever, as they bask in the onsen in the open, and even use it to soak apples, which are then easier for them to peel.But beware, they are fierce: it's highly discouraged to approach them or feed them.

Winter is naturally the ideal time to visit these snow monkeys. You can also take the opportunity to experience the warm outdoor hot springs while snow falls all around you, for example at Kambayashi (very close to the park - try Ryokan Korakukan) or Shibu YUDANAKA.

When monkeys enjoy Jigokudani hot springs ... Video ArtefactProductions.

Comments Read comments from our travellers


Whis my 2 sons I was in Japan in mai. We will go to Japan on winter, because we like the mountains , and macaques in the hot springs. Thise is beautiful in nature. But fly from Poland to Japan is long f et expensive.