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Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, the wild snow monkey park

Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, the wild snow monkey park, which is a location famous for seeing wild Japanese macaques bathe, is located relatively close to Madarao Highlands.

It has become very popular among foreign tourists in recent years. You may have seen pictures of bathing monkey, but in fact, this is said to be the only place where wild monkeys bathe.
So, why do they step into the hot springs?
It is said to have started with one young monkey. Its behavior is believed to have influenced the whole group of monkeys. The park then set up for a hot spring bath exclusively for the wild monkeys.

(温泉に入るニホンザルが見られることで有名な「地獄谷野猿公苑」も斑尾高原より比較的近く、近年多くの外国人観光客の人気スポットとなっています。「スノーモンキー」温泉に入るニホンザルの写真などは、よく目にすることと思いますが、実は温泉に入る猿がいるのは、世界でもこの地獄谷野猿公苑だけと言われています。
ではなぜこの野猿公苑のサルだけが温泉に入るようになったのでしょうか?
実は、初めて温泉に入ったのは一匹の子ザルだったといいます。これが群れ全体に広まり、野猿公苑側で猿専用の温泉を作りました。)

snow monkey Jigokudani Yaen-Koen

Bathing in hot springs here in Jigokudani is a part of their wisdom for surviving the harsh winters

wild snow monkey

The wild Japanese macaques live at the most northernmost point in the world among their species. Bathing in hot springs here in Jigokudani is a part of their wisdom for surviving the harsh winters.
In warmer seasons, therefore, they are not willing to step into the hot springs.
(ニホンザルは世界で一番北に住む猿です。地獄谷のニホンザルが温泉に入るのは、冬の厳しい寒さに耐えるために身につけた知恵です。そのため温暖な時期には積極的に温泉に入りません。)


The facial expressions of the snow monkeys are very cute as well as bold

In addition, due to having graced the cover of Life, one of the most well-read American magazines, and the word of mouth stories during the Nagano Olympic Games, the snow monkeys in Jigokudani have become famous worldwide. Nowadays a lot of foreign tourists visit just to see them.
(また、地獄谷のお猿はアメリカの雑誌「ライフ」の表紙を飾ったり、長野五輪からの口コミなどがきっかけで世界的に有名になり、多くの外国人観光客が訪れています。)

The facial expressions of the snow monkeys are very cute as well as bold, and at times are quite like those shown by humans, revealing our similarities.
(時折見せる人間臭さとその愛嬌、ふてぶてしさは、正に人間の表情と感情が見受けられます。)

snow monkey Jigokudani Yaen-Koen

snowmonkey

When bathing, they act as a group with a monkey as lookout at their backs. Young monkeys sometimes make a wild commotion while the others bathe peacefully, so much so that old monkeys may get angry at them.

At such times, they show a sulky expression, as if to say, “You should be blamed; it’s not us.” They are quite adorable and look just like humans do. Have fun observing the snow monkeys here in the park.
(広い湯船で後ろに一匹を見張りの様に付き従え入浴する猿の離れた場所では、若い子ザルがふざけて騒いでいると、老猿が注意をすると子猿たちの反省した様子は、『ほら、お前が悪いんだ、俺は知らん』の様な格好をします。人間臭さの現れでもあり、愛嬌もあるこの猿を観光してみてください。


Madarao kogen Hotel