I have always wanted to see the snow monkeys in Japan, ever since reading about them in National Geographic when I was a kid (I’ve read every issue of National Geographic since the 80s, it’s my favorite!). So we took the train out to the mountains by Nagano. I wore every article of clothing I had and it was still freezing.
IF YOU WANT TO GO:
It’s easy to catch a train from Tokyo to Nagano. Then from the Nagano main station there is a train that takes you right up to the monkey park. Be sure to check all the times as there are not many, so plan ahead.
At the monkey park there is a couple of restaurants, and a trail that takes you up to the onsen (onsens are hot springs) where the monkeys are hopefully bathing.
It’s a bit of a climb, so dress appropriately. It was a little slippery as well. The trail wasn’t too crowded, but when we got to the onsen it was mobbed with people. They had cameras and were vying for the best spots to shoot the monkeys. Sadly there were only two monkeys in the onsen when we were there, and the whole thing was kind of a let down. I liked it anyways though. The walk was nice, and the journey is the best part anyways. 🙂