| Creatures | Bathing Apes

Travel questions often find their way to us via Twitter or our inbox these days. While we are not experts, It makes us happy to share our experiences and also give our honest opinion and advice to fellow adventure-seekers.

Recently, we’ve had a few questions about  Jigokudani in Nagano which may be a bit difficult at the moment owing to volcanic eruption in the prefecture but nonetheless, it is certainly a place to note for future adventuring!

Jigokudani is a place of steep cliffs, towering evergreens, steamy horizons and bubbling hot springs and though its name translates as ‘hell valley’, it is home to some charming monkeys.






Japanese Macaques sort of dither about their lives. Chilling in the hot springs. Staring at their reflections in a nose to water fashion. Chewing on yummy things that they find. Grooming each other or just sat staring into space (considering world peace perhaps), they are infinitely fun to watch. Being in Jigokudani allows you the privilege of walking amongst the monkeys and being able to observe these fascinating and intelligent creatures up close.

How to get there:
You can jump on a buss from either Yudanaka Station (will take 10-25 mins), or Shibu Onsen (will take 5-10 mins)or Nagano Station(will take 40 mins). Or, if you like walking, you can walk from Shibu Onsen, it will take about 45 – 60 mins if the weather is good.

Where to stay:
We drove to Yudanaka from Tokyo  and stayed in a traditional Japanese inn in Shibu Onsen. You can see our post on Shibu Onsen HERE.