We are now well into the second half of winter and life goes on, much as usual, at the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. This year’s weather is much warmer than usual and from day-to-day, conditions at the park vary greatly. Days of good snow fall have been followed by days of warmth and sunshine which melts the snow and has a times, felt like spring!
February really has been a mixed bag. The monkeys continue to come in good numbers and are staying for the entire day. With the warmer weather and other factors affecting travel at the moment, visitor numbers at the park are also lower than usual, allowing recent visitors lots of space to enjoy watching and photographing the monkeys as they go about their monkey lives.
On days of snow, the monkeys tend to follow their usual routine by quickly snacking on the barley seeds and tofu beans provided by park rangers before slipping into the onsen for a soak. On the warmer days, they love basking in the sun, grooming each other or having a little wrestle.
The warmer weather means the monkeys are more active than usual this February. At times, their antics follow their spring behaviour as they scurry around, climb, and forage.
For visitors planning to travel to the park in the next few weeks, come prepared for anything. While this winter has so far been warm and the snowfall lower than average, who knows what the rest of winter has in store for us.
Last year, the snowfall in March as excellent and with nearby Shiga Kogen having more than doubled its snowfall in February (when compared to last year), we might be building-up to another late winter surge…
As always, we operate daily tours to the Snow Monkey Park. All tours are led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide and combine a visit to the monkeys with lunch and another nearby attraction. We love introducing people to our beautiful home region and should you be traveling to Nagano in last week of February, March or anytime in the near future, we’d love to have you join us!