Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park 地獄谷野猿公苑 Jigokudani Yaen Kōen is in Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan at 36°43′58″N 138°27′46″E / 36732799°N 1384627°E / 36732799; 1384627Coordinates: 36°43′58″N 138°27′46″E / 36732799°N 1384627°E / 36732799; 1384627 It is part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park locally known as Shigakogen, and is located in the valley of the Yokoyu-River, in the northern part of the prefecture The name Jigokudani, meaning "Hell's Valley", is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold and hostile forests1

The heavy snowfalls snow covers the ground for 4 months a year, an elevation of 850 metres, and being only accessible via a narrow two kilometre footpath through the forest, keep it uncrowded despite being relatively well-known

It is famous for its large population of wild Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata, more commonly referred to as snow monkeys, that go to the valley during the winter, foraging elsewhere in the national park during the warmer months The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen hotsprings, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings

However, since the monkeys are fed by park attendants, they are in the area of the hot springs all the year round, and a visit at any season will enable the visitor to observe hundreds of the macaques2

Jigokudani is not the farthest north that monkeys live The Shimokita Peninsula is at the northern part of the Honshū island and the northwest area of this peninsula, latitude +41°31' longitude +140°56', approximately 500 km or 310 miles north from Jigokudani is the northern limit of Japanese macaque habitat No non-human primate is known to live in a colder climate3456



  1. ^ Scheffel, Richard L; Wernet, Susan J, eds 1980 Natural Wonders of the World United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc p 193 ISBN 0-89577-087-3 
  2. ^ Jigokudani Monkey Park Yaen-Koen Official Site |title= Jigokudani Yaen-Koen Official Page
  3. ^ Explore the Heart of Japan - Snow Monkeys
  4. ^ Masahiro Minami "Profile of Japanese macaques" Simon Fraser University Archived from the original on October 25, 2009 Retrieved 2014-03-11 
  5. ^ Masui, K 1988 Nihonzaru no fudo, Climatology of Japanese Macaque, Tokyo 
  6. ^ Yuzankaku; Nakagawa, N, Iwamoto, T, Yokota, N, & Soumah, AG 1996 Inter-regional and inter-seasonal variations of food quality in Japanese macaques: constraints of digestive volume and feeding time Cambridge University Press pp 207–234 ISBN 9780521021715 In JE FA, & DG Lindburg Eds, Evolution and ecology of macaque societies CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter link

External linksedit

  • Jigokudani Monkey Park Yaen-Koen Official Site
  • Official Yamanouchi Town Guide
  • Enter the park through Google Street View
  • Zeno's Guide to Jigokudani Monkey park
  • Jigokudani Snow Monkey Live Cam and general info

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