Wildlife Tours

The Japanese macaques of Jigokudani Yaen-Koen

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View Japanese macaques in their natural mountain habitat

Jigokudani Yaen-Koen (Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park), nestled in the Yokoyu River Valley in the northern reaches of Nagano Prefecture, is home to wild troops of Japanese macaques. The valley is located at an elevation of 850 meters and is surrounded by deciduous forests. Snow blankets the valley for four month out of the year.

Each season brings a new way to appreciate the macaques. Infants are born and reared from April to June and can be seen frolicking in the verdant woods throughout the summer. In the autumn, the macaques forage for fruits and nuts to prepare for the coming winter. Winter in the valley is undoubtedly cold, but these resilient primates huddle together to keep warm, and rely on buds, bark, and even mineral-rich soil for food. No other primate besides humans can endure such conditions. You may be able to see macaques bathing in hot springs to keep warm this time of year, but note that this is more of an occasional occurrence. Japanese macaques usually do not like to get wet.

The macaques are truly wild. Jigokudani Yaen-Koen has no fences or barriers to prevent them from roaming between the park and their natural mountain habitat. Their protection and preservation are paramount, so visitors are not permitted to feed them or handle them.

wildlife park   activity   walking  
Open April to October: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., November to March: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Note Winter in the park can fall in the range of minus 10 degrees Celsius to minus 20 degrees Celsius, so it is essential to wear appropriate winter attire and boots. Visitors are not permitted to feed or handle the macaques and should keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the animals. Calling ahead to check if the macaques are in the park is recommended before visiting. We can not guarantee how the macaques will act, and they may not be at the park during the opening hours.
Cost Adults (over 18) 800 yen, children (7 to 17 years old) 400 yen.
Contact Jikokudani Yaen-Koen
Phone (+81) 0269-33-4379
Address 6845, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano
Website webmaster@jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp

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