I hope you are having a wonderful start to the new year, and hope it is not too cold where you are. 🥶
Do you enjoy soaking in a warm bath on cold days? I love soaking in the warm bath, especially the onsen, the Japanese hot springs.
You may already know that taking a bath is a cultural tradition and an important part of daily life for many people in Japan.
But did you know that monkeys in Japan soak in hot springs to keep warm?
Snow monkeys, also called Japanese macaques, are native to Japan and are known for their thick fur coats which help them to survive in the cold, snowy climates of the northern regions of Japan. One unique behavior of these monkeys is that they have been observed soaking in onsen in order to keep warm.
This behavior was first observed in the 1960s in the Jigokudani Monkey Park, located in Nagano Prefecture. And it has since become a super popular tourist attraction. The park is home to around 160 snow monkeys, and visitors can observe the monkeys as they soak in the hot springs.
The snow monkeys at can be seen relaxing in the hot springs throughout the year. However, the best time to see the monkeys in onsen is during the colder months, specifically from late November to early April, when the snow is on the ground and the monkeys are looking for ways to keep warm.
Do you agree that the monkeys look so zen when soaking in onsen under the snow?