Area Guide

[Nagano] Snow Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen) (地獄谷野猿公苑): The Troops of Enchanting Wild Japanese Macaques

Unforgettable Wildlife Experience: Observing Friendly Japanese Macaques in their Natural Habitat at Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park

If you desire to witness Japanese macaques in their natural habitat, the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park presents itself as the perfect destination. Unlike many other wildlife parks, these primates are not restricted by enclosures. Instead, their movements are governed by feeding, enabling visitors to closely observe and interact with these captivating creatures.

Despite being wild animals, the Japanese macaques at Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park exhibit a friendly disposition towards visitors, which results in an interesting blend of proximity and detachment that is rare to encounter elsewhere.

However, prior to embarking on your visit, it is crucial to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these primates. For example, while Japanese macaques possess a furry coat, their faces, posteriors, palms, and soles are devoid of hair. During the mating season, their typically pink faces turn a reddish hue, while the faces and posteriors of young macaques transition from fleshy to pink as they mature.

In terms of physical characteristics, male Japanese macaques measure on average 54-61cm in length and weigh between 12-15kg. Conversely, females tend to measure between 47-60cm and weigh 8-15kg. However, it is not just their physical attributes that make them fascinating creatures.

Japanese macaques possess a complex social structure. While lone males (hanare-zaru) eventually leave their natal troop, females tend to remain within their troop, with related individuals spending the majority of their time together. Females give birth once every two years, typically delivering a single offspring at a time.

As diurnal animals, Japanese macaques tend to be active during the early hours of the day, engaging in foraging or rest throughout the day, before retiring at night. The Jigokudani Yaen-koen serves as a vital territory where they acquire sustenance at any given time.

Overall, a visit to the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park offers a singular and unforgettable experience, leaving you with a newfound admiration for these remarkable animals.

You might also like