HOW TO SEE WILD MONKEYS AND DEER IN JAPAN

 

During my recent trip I was able to get up close to some of the most amazing wild animals! In this post I’ll tell you how easy it is to meet the wildlife of Japan, just outside some of its biggest cities. The Snow Monkey park and Miyajima deer Island are my two highlights that I will show you pictures from below. Make sure to follow or subscribe to keep up with my posts and let me know what you think in the comments!


SNOW MONKEY PARK


 

My number one highlight of our Japan trip has to be seeing the Snow Monkeys of Nagano. These beautiful animals live in the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park (or Snow Monkey park) which I have read has been open since 1964 and welcomed thousands from around the world to observe the beautiful Japanese Macaque monkeys. The park is situated in a valley nicknamed ‘Hell’s Valley’ due to the hot springs there, however this seems to be a haven for the monkeys, especially in the extreme cold conditions they can experience! They seem to completely ignore their human visitors which makes it an even better experience as you really get to see them in their natural habitat, searching for food, washing each other, playing and sleeping! It’s beautiful to see these confident monkeys in their natural habitat, rather than in a zoo. They seem well cared for and unlike other species of monkey will not try to jump on you or steal any of your things – they really seem to keep to themselves and just enjoy their surroundings. Of course it is also important to respect that you are in their home so no feeding or touching is allowed.

I wanted to share with you some of the photos I was able to take here. Most were taken on my Nikon camera however some of these were taken on my phone, which just shows how close I got! You can see below the baby monkeys, families huddling together for warmth, bathing in the hot springs and searching for food! To visit the park its a bit of a trek from Tokyo but is so worth it. You can use the Shinkansen for just over an hour to Nagano, and from here purchase a Snow Monkey day pass which will cover all your train and bus travel to the park. There is also a 30 minute walk once you get there through the woods  – it’s definitely a day out that I would recommend booking when in Japan.

DSC_0984

DSC_1025

DSC_0983

IMG_2692

IMG_2691

DSC_0988

DSC_0979

DSC_0977

DSC_0936

DSC_0880

DSC_0901

DSC_0896

DSC_0893

DSC_0885

DSC_0882

DSC_0889

DSC_0958

DSC_0965

DSC_0968

DSC_0975

DSC_1011

IMG_2686

DSC_1018

 


MIYAJIMA DEER ISLAND


 

Now onto another fantastic destination to get up close to Japan’s wildlife. Miyajima island is overrun with tame deer! This beautiful and peaceful Island can be accessed from Hiroshima by a short ferry ride (this is included in JR Rail Passes if you have purchased these for a trip). Known mostly for its stunning temple and shrine, Miyajima island is a popular tourist destination for this reason, however the friendly creatures that live there have definitely attracted even more visitors over the years. Here the humans and deer live happily side by side, with the deer being incredibly tame and will even pose for pictures! I read online that the deer in Miyajima were considered sacred messengers from the gods, and until 1637, killing one was punishable by death! They are still protected today I presume in a similar way that swans are protected in England. You can easily pet or feed these deer however it is not recommended to do either, it is still important to respect that they are wild animals! But all the same they are so beautiful and it’s really surreal to spend a day with them. I would recommend staying at this island if you have the time, it’s peaceful, has stunning views and packed with things to do.

 

 

I have been so lucky to see all of these wild animals, being up close to them was very surreal and these have become the best memories of my trip. If you’re visiting Japan then seeing the wildlife is essential and so easy to access by train and boat at good prices! For example if you have a JR pass then visiting the deer is technically free. For animal lovers you will see how well looked after they are here and that’s the most important thing. 

 


I will be uploading lots of content over the next few weeks covering my travels in Japan, so make sure to follow me on WordPress or subscribe by email: both are easy to do at the bottom of the post, homepage or on my sidebar! You can now contact me by email – elena@elenaswanderland.com or leave a comment and like down below. Let me know if you’ve been to Japan and what your favourite parts were!


 

Eléna x

 

Advertisements

Posted by

My name is Eléna, I'm from the UK and I started the blog elena's wanderland so that I could share my experiences and pictures of my travels! I am currently on a gap year and trying to see as much of the world as I can, on a budget! I will be posting in each destination I visit with my favourite places, recommendations and photos I've taken. Hope you enjoy! Eléna x Follow my blog on wordpress or by email! Check out my instagram: elenaredmond for more pictures. Get in touch through my twitter: elena_redmond or email: elena@elenaswanderland.com

One thought on “HOW TO SEE WILD MONKEYS AND DEER IN JAPAN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s