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Monkeying around in Yamanouchi

As temperatures drop throughout Japan, the country’s famous wild Snow Monkeys have headed to the hot springs. One Reuters photographer captured the macaques taking a dip at the Jigokudani Monkey Park, about 45 minutes from Nagano city by bus. The wild Japanese macaques in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, have become one of the top tourist destinations during winter in Japan.

A Japanese macaque (or so-called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday.
A Japanese macaque (or so-called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday. | REUTERS
Yamanouchi
Yamanouchi’s hot springs are popular with tourists and wild macaques alike. Many visitors often stay at famous resorts such as Shibu Onsen and then try to catch a glimpse of the nearby monkeys. | REUTERS
Since temperatures in and around Nagano city often reach below freezing during the winters, the Snow Monkeys have taken advantage of the area
Since temperatures in and around Nagano city often reach below freezing during the winters, the Snow Monkeys have taken advantage of the area’s prevalent natural hot springs to warm up. | REUTERS
The famous monkey park is located in Jigokudani, which has been nicknamed
The famous monkey park is located in Jigokudani, which has been nicknamed ‘Hell Valley’ because of its steep terrain and the rising steam from hot springs. Although the monkeys often look like they’re in heaven. | REUTERS
While macaques in places such as Yakushima, Kyoto and Gifu often huddle together to stay warm during cold weather, Yamanouchi
While macaques in places such as Yakushima, Kyoto and Gifu often huddle together to stay warm during cold weather, Yamanouchi’s seek out hot springs, including the man-made ones in the Jigokudani Monkey Park. | REUTERS
These macaques have become synonymous with the country, and they are even called
These macaques have become synonymous with the country, and they are even called nihonzaru (Japan monkey) in Japanese. | REUTERS
According to the Myoko Tourism Board, the monkeys first started taking dips in the hot springs in the 1960s when one macaque fell in while trying to retrieve some food. The others followed its lead, and the rest became monkey business for the local tourism industry.
According to the Myoko Tourism Board, the monkeys first started taking dips in the hot springs in the 1960s when one macaque fell in while trying to retrieve some food. The others followed its lead, and the rest became monkey business for the local tourism industry. | REUTERS
Monkey maniacs can check out the Japanese macaques online by visiting Google Maps (https://goo.gl/maps/ZR3fBKdL4AP2) or watching a live feed (http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/livecam/monkey/index.htm).
Monkey maniacs can check out the Japanese macaques online by visiting Google Maps or watching a live feed. | REUTERS
https://goo.gl/maps/ZR3fBKdL4AP2
http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/livecam/monkey/index.htm