Winter is coming!
The first snow of the season has fallen around the 20th of November and this has had an impact on the behavior of the snow monkeys of Jigokudani as they now have to make sure they survive the cold of winter.
In early November the monkeys were still in the midst of mating season. This caused them to be a little more testy in nature and sometimes even absent from the park.
Late November is completely different. The first snow has already fallen from the sky and is still staying on the ground. The temperature is solidly around zero degrees Celsius and it seems to only be getting colder and colder in the days to come.
The cold temperature of this area in Nagano is creating the perfect environment for the snow monkeys. They now need the barley given to them by the park ranger more than before and are at the park as soon as the first sun rays hit the ground.
The coldness also makes it very attractive for them to get into the pool. While in the earlier weeks on November they were still running around the park, recently they really started needing the hot spring to stay warm.
Everyday more and more monkeys get into the pool. It will not be long before you’ll see the entire troop around and in the pool like the below picture taken in December.
If you want to go see the monkeys, see this page for access information.
If you want to learn more about the monkeys and Nagano Prefecture, come join a tour!