Snow Monkey Party


The bus, as in greyhound-like long distance buses, like everything in Japan are awesome. Check out this waiting room.

and you get assigned seats and they don't oversell the tickets so there's no fighting, no people pretending to be sleeping so you can't sit there.

these buses make a lot of stops though. we had 2 rest stop stops for a 4 hour drive! So it's just about enough time to just fall asleep and then be woken up for a rest stop stop.

After arriving in Nagano by bus we had to take a train to Yudanaka for an hour. Its like the one we rode in Hakone that has a double decker wide view front car where the driver sits up top. It looks pretty cool so there were tons of train-o-philes out photographing our train.

This is my new roommate from Germany, Norman. He's 21 yrs old and is here on a 1 year working holiday visa doing nothing.

here is one of many waiting by the tracks to snap the train. there was even a whole club or something out at one point. Japanese people are crazy about photography.

25 minute walk from the entrance of the monkey park to their hotspring bath. I slipped on ice once in slow motion and caught my camera and righted myself and dodged a bullet.

snowed in vehicle.

thermal steam vent or something

and I borrowed Naoki's 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 Ultra-wide angle lens for this trip so i was able to get some cool shots.

First contact!

The Jigokudani Monkey Park offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring. The park is inhabited by Japanese Macaques, which are also known as Snow Monkeys. It is located in the monkey's natural habitat, in the forests of the Jigokudani valley in Yamanouchi, not far from the onsen towns of Shibu and Yudanaka.

they're eating rice or some kind of grain that's in the water.

this one's for you. Yes YOU! congrats.

I'm not endorsing smoking or anything but how badass does this guy look?

I personally don't know yet, but I feel you dude, I know it sucks. One day you're single, hanging out, smelling females, the next you've literally got a monkey on your back squeezing the life out of you crying for lunch money.

Monkey Action!

Monkey Slap!

Monkey Eye-Gouge!

Monkey Ball-Inspection!

A side note, at the monkey park while photographing those little baby monkeys fighting, another baby monkey was diggin' into my back pocket. Everyone including me thought it was funny and cute. later during the walk back i realized I lost my phone. I way! thats totally awesome and cute but totally sucks if that little bastard stole my phone! I ran back for 5 minutes along the icy snow trail, but my phone ended up being on the floor next to the ticket office counter :) and :(

The Monkey Park and Nagano are kind of out of the way so I don't recommend going if you come on a vacation shorter than 2 weeks. But longer than that and I recommend this and the onsen town.