This weekend, we're lucky to be visiting a special part of Japan where a unique group of macaque live and exhibit remarkable behavior.
We're going to Jigokudani Yaenkoen Monkey Park near Nagano to observe snow monkeys.
These particular monkeys native to Japan sit in hot springs to warm up in the winter time, wash their food before eating it, and even roll snowballs for recreation. Needless to say, I am very excited for this unique opportunity.
Our trip to the monkey park is a bit of a planes, trains, automobile, and even walking odyssey. I'll report the whole itinerary when we get back in case you'd like to visit there someday.
Incidentally, the traditional inn we're staying at is located within the park and we have to walk, belongings and all, for about 40 minutes through a snowy mountain path to reach it. The reward is that we're about as close as we can get to observing the behavior of the wild monkeys, maybe even sharing the same hot spring if we're so inclined. I'm not kidding.
Check back in a few days for a full report...