Snow Monkeys in Nagano, Japan




Yup! You read it right. The Sophomore Slump is now in Japan. I’m excited to blog about my travel adventures here in Japan, and I’m starting it with a BANG!



These monkeys are, for the lack of a better word, so adorable.


They’re placid. They go about and do their own things nonchalantly.


They know they are the superstars, and they do not mind posing for the camera.


Then they soak themselves in a hot spring.




  • Washing the … uhm … tail-end. 🙂



They are so entertaining, amusing, to see them interact with each other.


And with celebrity monkeys comes monkey paparazzi. 🙂


My pictures here actually pale in comparison from the ones you see on the web. Just Google it, and you’ll see. For one, I used only a cellphone, Samsung S6 (not that it doesn’t take good pictures per se). Also, our timing is a little off. It’s better to get there when it’s absolutely cold because there are more monkeys appearing and they do huddle together for warmth.


One of the cautions is not to eat or even show food to the monkeys. I saw one slick monkey grabbed a juice box from the side of a woman’s bag. It was quite enjoyable to watch.


… And look at it stare as if no monkey business just happened. 😀

The actual name for snow monkey is Japanese macaque. You only get to see them here. The exact location is Yamanouchi-machi in Nagano Perfecture. I will definitely come back next year, and will plan for better timing.


I am so grateful for this unique travel experience.

52 replies »

  1. Back to Japan already, eh Rommel? Must be quite a switch from the Mediterranean! 🙂 These monkeys look like the same ones from the beginning of the movie Baraka…though in that scene, they are made to look like wise old characters. You’ve captured them as more childlike and entertaining. 🙂

  2. I’ve seen these on TV, they are so cute but I feel sorry for them living in such a cold place. Imagine being in the hot spring and then having to get out – what horrible extremes !

  3. Konichiwa! Now you are in Japan, you are definitely making good use of your travel, and what a great choice of Nagano. I’ve been to Japan in the wintertime, and loved it ~ the food, the cold & whiteness (Hokkaido) and such a difference from the warm, brilliance of Greece 🙂 And then you see some of my old friends at this hot springs ~ wish you continued safe travels.

      • I tend to have more patience with photography than I did 10 years ago ~ which is strange as I think when people age they get less patient 🙂 I will be returning to Japan (Sapporo, Hokkaido) this June ~ first time I will see it in the summertime.

  4. Your photos turned out beautifully! We did the phone photos, too, but they turned out nothing like yours! Enjoy your travels!

  5. Last year I watched a very interesting program of the Discovery Channel that explained the migratory pattern of these monkeys that was discovered in recent years.

  6. Great shots, Rommel. The monkeys are so cute. I miss the ones we had in South Africa, although they could be rather a nuisance in residential areas. Have lots of fun in Japan. You really do get around. 🙂

  7. Fantastic photos. Just to let you know though, there are a few places across Japan where you can see Japanese macaques. Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto and Mount Takasaki in Beppu are good spots for visiting these cheeky monkeys.

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