Another month has slipped-on by and with that, summer has ended and the early hints of autumn are in the air. With the summer heat having faded away, days have regularly been punctuated by drizzle and mountain mists creeping into the valley, giving recent visits to the Snow Monkey Park an atmospheric beauty.
Located in the foothills of the expansive Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, the monkeys feel right at home in rolling mist and autumn showers that slip in and out of their valley this time of year.
The cooler temperatures and atmosphere of early autumn make it a great time to visit, and visitors through September have enjoyed seeing the monkeys spending their days dozing and grooming (with occasional bursts of energy!).
The baby macaques are growing quickly – in both their size and independence – and relish their ability to explore the park with confidence. With the onset of autumn, the park and surrounding mountain forests are increasingly full of wild vegetables, fruits, and nuts, encouraging both young monkeys and old to scour the undergrowth, bushes, and trees for tasty surprises.
But in the cooling weather of early autumn, the monkeys spend their days mostly dozing and grooming – an endless activity which builds and maintains the social bonds with family members and potential mates that will sustain them through their years.
As we head through September and into October the valley will slowly turn red, amber, and gold as autumn takes hold. Known as “kouyou” in Japanese, viewing the changing colors is a traditional and extremely popular past-time in Japan, and a great reason to head to the Snow Monkey Park in October and November.
Snow Monkey Resorts operates tours throughout the year including autumn, combining a visit to the park with lunch at a nearby restaurant and afternoon activities, led by an English-speaking guide. With the backdrop of the changing leaves of autumn, we’d love to welcome you to Nagano and meet its famous monkeys!