What image do you get, when you think of monkeys? Jungles? Rain Forests? In Japan, there is a way you can enjoy them in a completely different way. See them take a nice warm bath in the hot springs!
In Nagano Japan, there is a park named Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Jigokudani Monkey Park). This park, opened in 1964, is a facility made for tourists to enjoy watching Japanese Monkeys that make their living in this area. This place first became activated when the people here succeeded in feeding the wild monkeys. Usually, monkeys do not like getting themselves wet, but the monkeys in this area started taking baths after watching a human being take one. Now, there are hot springs made exclusively for monkeys and they have become one of the most entertaining spectacles to see, attracting nearly 100,000 people every year. In the hot springs, the monkeys like to groom each other, or some just like to sit still and do absolutely nothing at all. Whatever they do, they all look happy and relaxing. Looking at them warms our hearts as well and it is a pleasure to see such monkeys.
There is nowhere else that gives you the chance to see monkeys enjoying a warm bath! Although there are several rules that you must follow when visiting the sight, (i.e. do not feed them, do not touch them, do not talk to them, etc.) you will never forget this wonderful experience. Visiting the Jigokudani Yaen Koen will cost an adult 500 JPY for adults and 250 JPY for children.