Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
There’s nowhere quite like Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, located in Yamanouchi, in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, where visitors flock to see the famed macaques bathing in the steaming hot spring waters.
It’s a strange sight, but look beyond the bizarre for a moment and this is a spectacular place to take a trip. Not far from Shibu and Yudanaka, the picture-perfect valleys of the Yokuyu River make for an eye-catching backdrop, part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, and worthy of a visit in their own right.
Be sure to take time to explore the forests and trails that dot the area, before heading to see the snow monkeys, who are always to be found in the man-made pool that fills with the naturally-hot spring waters for which the region is renowned. They’re here all year round — but to get the full effect, it’s worth waiting until the snow has fallen, usually between December and March, before making a visit.