Monday 24th April 2017 – Yudanaka
Having enjoyed our Ryokan / Onsen experience in 70’s concrete style, today we were off to see the other attraction in the spa-town of Yudanaka, the famous Jigokudani Onsen or ‘Snow Monkey Park’. The local macaque monkeys started to imitate the locals in their outdoor onsen baths, so the town built the monkeys their own onsen and by coincidence created one of the regions most popular tourist attractions.
To get to the park, we took a bus up to the entrance, then it’s a 30 minute walk through the forest to reach the pools that have been given to the troop. You can smell the sulphur of the volcanic waters and as you get closer you start to see little fair-haired monkeys. Today, it was a nice sunny day so they seemed content to potter about in the sun, grooming, looking for grubs and just lying down.. so we didn’t see any of them actually taking a bath, but in the winter, they are the only monkeys anywhere in the world to bathe in hot springs for warmth.
I’ll leave you with the photos of these lovely little fellas, Onsen water is supposed to be excellent for skin and hair and these chaps do have the most fantastic bouffants…