Old Blog

This is from a while back but it’s something I never got to.

Last month I went to a fairly famous monkey park here in Nagano prefecture.  Basically, it’s a retreat a little ways up in the mountains that has a tiny monkey villiage in it.  True to all things Japanese the monkeys abide the rules and stay within the confines of the park.  There’s a small warming hut that sells souvenirs and where you buy your tickets; after walking around the hut (no fences or walls) you enter monkey park and BANG the monkeys are everywhere.  Front side of the building, no monkeys; back side, monkeys galore.  How do they know!?  It might be the feed they give them but you’d think a few would stray here and there.

One of the more amusing things about the park is how acclimated the monkeys are to humans.  You can get right up next to them and they don’t mind one bit.  It makes me wonder how many people get bitten each year.

I know I need to add some pictures to the blog, an effort I plan to increase this year.

A small town next to the park. I'm not sure who lives there but it's pretty isolated.

As you can see, it’s a bit up there in the mountains.  There’s a tiny river that runs down the valley and you have to hike for about 20-30 minutes along the steep banks to get to the park.  It was very slippery and more than once we almost fell either into mud or down the bank.

Here's the path. Not too dangerous but very icy and slippery.

Many laughs were had trying not to fall.  I have some videos of me saying such things as “so we’ll be getting to monkey park in a fe–AAAHHHH!  OH MY GOD I ALMOST FELL RIGHT THERE!!”

Monkeys love them some onsen.

As you can see the monkeys were everywhere.  They are all over the mountain side and everything.  You can also see some people chillin up close and personal with the little creatures.

Ahhhhhh.. Aren't they cute?


 And finally possibly my favorite picture I’ve ever appeared in.

Getting close and personal

This one was a little scary as two things were going on.  One, as you can see this little bugger is a bit small and I was worried about his mom coming out from somewhere and going all Tonya Harding on me.  Two, some of the only wilderness survival stuff I know is “don’t look them in the eye!”, which is what I’m doing here.  I’m not just looking, I’m staring at him in the eyes to get the shot.  Plus a shot for 2 other cameras.  Yeah, I was probably not in any danger at all but I had thoughts running through my head.

So, there it is.  Some pictures of our day trip up to monkey park.  Thanks to R. for coming along and making it one of the best weekends I’ve had here in Nagano.  Also, the last pic is his so all credit on the shot goes to him.


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