Nagano-ken Snow Monkeys

6 01 2010

After the first day of skiing we went to a local onsen to soothe our muscles. But after 2 days of beginners skiing it was time for a break from sore knees, shoulders, ankles, cold toes and fingers. We caught a couple of local buses from Hakuba to Nagano and beyond to the Jigokudani Monkey Onsen Park.

“Wild” Japanese monkeys live in the park and when it is cold they like to hang out in the hot spring onsen. It was a 30 minute walk up the mountain along slippery ice/snow paths before we could reach the monkeys in their natural surroundings. There were two film crews filming the monkeys and one of the teams interviewed Benno in Japanese about where he was from and his experience of visiting the monkeys… maybe he will be on Japanese TV?!

The monkeys were really cute and quite tame (they didn’t mind cameras pointing in their faces). Although some of them had their grumpy faces on display the day we visited…

There is a “Monkey WebCam” set up outside the onsen that takes photos every hour and posts them online. We got caught being uninteresting at midday. You can see the monkeys too.

When we came back to the hostel the snow had piled up and in some places we had to walk through almost knee-high powder snow. So soft, but so cold and wet.


Actions

Information

6 responses

20 09 2010
Nagano-ken Snow Monkeys (via Wandering Vegans) « So many things

[…] After the first day of skiing we went to a local onsen to soothe our muscles. But after 2 days of beginners skiing it was time for a break from sore knees, shoulders, ankles, cold toes and fingers. We caught a couple of local buses from Hakuba to Nagano and beyond to the Jigokudani Monkey Onsen Park. "Wild" Japanese monkeys live in the park and when it is cold they like to hang out in the hot spring onsen. It was a 30 minute walk up the mountain … Read More […]

7 01 2011
Rochelle

Hello! I found while searching for places to stay near Jigokudan. Where did you stay and could you get any vegan meals? Thank you!

8 01 2011
bennoandlara

We stayed in Hakuba, where we went skiing. We stayed at a place called K’s House, a really clean, affordable and friendly youth hotel. We cooked our own meals in the shared kitchen at the youth hostel.
From Hakbua, we took 2 buses and went on a day trip to see the snow monkeys.
The only time we went out to eat was in Nagano city. They have a MOS burger store (the kinpira burger is vegan) and a veg restaurant that we found in the “Veg Pocket Guide”, a book on veg restaurants you can buy at the Loving Hut in Tokyo, but it was closed when we visited. You can also get vegetarian/vegan meals at some temples or soba (the regional dish of Nagano) can be eaten without the stock (ask for soy sauce instead of dashi, a fish based stock).

15 09 2011
Gillian

We are planning a trip to Nagano next year. We’ll be staying for about 2 months on the outskirts of the city. We’re a long term vegan family with 4 children and would be happy to receive any information on vegan eating in that area. We have been to Japan before but not for several years and not to that area. I googled “Vegan Nagano” and found you!

25 10 2011
bennoandlara

Try happycow.net for vegan restaurants around the world.
If you go to the Loving Hut restaurant in Tokyo you can buy a pocket guide to vegan restaurants in Japan that includes maps, reviews, supermarket hints and more (http://www.veganjapan.net/pocketguide-e.html).
The Vegan Passport may also be useful if you’re planning on eating at non-vegan restaurants.
We didn’t find any vegan-friendly restaurants when we were in Nagano-ken, apart from MOS burger, so cooking your own food may be your best option!

25 10 2011
Gillian

Thanks for the info. Not sure I can face Mosburger! We should have decent cooking facilities so think it will all be DIY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s