Yet another month has passed us by at the Jigokudani Monkey Park and with that, it’s time for our monthly photoblog from April 2022. April is always an interesting time to visit the park as the deep snow of winter melts from the landscape and the first buds of new growth emerge. Before long, the park will be lush and green and as spring transitions into summer, warm days will become hot and the monkey park will seem a completely different place from the snow and cold of winter.
The transition of seasons reveals a patchwork of colours within the park, making late-March and April an interesting time to visit, and especially good for photographers. The monkeys are ever-more active as the weather warms and set against the backdrop of a changing landscape – in which exposed earth and rocks contrast against the blue of the river, white of the last snow and green of the new growth – it’s an especially good time for photographers.
In late-March we were lucky enough to be joined at the park by Beard Guy Photography. Not only was he wonderful company but he’s a brilliant photographer who was generous enough to share some of his photos with us – as shown below. Make sure to check-out his photography via his Facebook account and a big thanks from us for joining our tour and for use of these photographs.
As we move into May we’ll see the emergence of this year’s baby monkeys in the park. It’s another great time of visit – it’s certainly the cutest time of year at the park – as the mother’s allow their little ones to start exploring the world for themselves within a month of being born, again providing some fantastic photo opportunities from May onward.
Our tours run throughout the year including our always popular 1-DAY SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE TOUR. Starting and ending at Nagano Station, the tour includes a morning visit to Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple before enjoying an early ‘sake’ tasting, lunch at Monzen Terrace Enya an afternoon visit to the monkey park. Led by a locally-based guide, the tour is a great way to experience the monkeys in combination with one of Japan’s most important Buddhist temples and until June 2022, visitors to the temple can enjoy the ‘Gokaicho’ – a temple festival of national importance occurring only once every six to seven years.
We operate all year round with tours to the monkey park in all seasons. So no matter when you’re visiting – whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter – we’d love to have you join us on a tour to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. We hope to see you soon in Nagano!
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND THE PARK & WHERE TO STAY
Often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park, you’d be forgiven for thinking the park is only open and the monkeys only venture there in winter. While it’s true they are most famous for their winter antics, the monkeys come to the park all year round and there are just as many reasons to visit in spring, summer and autumn. Located in the beautiful rural enclave of Yamanouchi and within easy reach of Nagano City, visiting the park can be easily combined with plenty of nearby destinations and activities, as a day-trip or multi-day visit. Our ’25 Things To Do Around The Jigokudani Monkey Park & Where To Stay’ page has lots of tips and suggestions of what’s on offer and the best area to stay when visiting the monkeys.