08 Nov 2017 in With Kids
Did you know monkeys are native to Japan? The so-called Snow Monkey is famous for withstanding brutal winters. One of its tricks? Bathing in hot spring baths!
The Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) lives further north than any other primate except us humans. It’s found in many regions of Japan but is best-known for inhabiting northern climates where snow covers the ground for around a third of the year.
So, how does it keep warm during the harsh winters?
Its thick fur allows it to withstand temperatures of -20C (-4F) and live in mountains at 3000m (9600 ft) high. And, in Nagano Prefecture, a group of snow monkeys has found another, more unusual trick for keeping warm: they take a dip in the natural hot spring baths!
At Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Snow Monkey Park) in Nagano Prefecture, snow monkeys come down from the thick forests of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in the day to soak their bodies in the local onsen.
Seeing them lay back and relax in the warm waters is quite a sight, and has made the park a national phenomenon.
Looking for a place to stay?
Other places to catch Japan’s snow monkeys? In Kyoto, the Iwatayama Monkey Park is home to over a hundred Japanese Macaques.
Finally, Mt. Takasaki Wild Monkey Park in Kyushu welcomes over a thousand wild monkeys, who come down from the forest to feed in the park.
And where better to stay than Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso, just an hour-and-a-half away?