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Snow Monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park is in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. 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 forests.

It is famous for its large population of wild Japanese Macaques, 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. Starting in 1963, the monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of hot springs, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings.

These beautiful photos are taken by Kiyoshi Ookawa





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