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Monkey Park 2008/6/30 22:46
Nagano
We wil be visiting monkeys next February. Plan on staying at Korakukan. Is it best to book directly with the Korakukan or through an agent? Are any other hotels/ryokans recommended?
by jeannieb  

Monkey Park from Nagano 2008/7/1 11:43
We too are hoping to see the monkey park although a little earlier, this October. Could anyone advise if bookings are required if we intend to make our own way to the park via the directions on the monkey park website? I am hoping it will be general admission....
by Aleph rate this post as useful

... 2008/7/1 12:00
The Korakukan has no English website, and I am not sure whether they have English speakers. So unless you speak Japanese, I recommend to use an English reservation site, such as:
http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/db/nagano/korakukan.htm

I strongly recommend to make advance reservations both for you to avoid unpleasant surprises and for the ryokan owner to know in advance how much food and how many rooms to prepare.
by Uji rate this post as useful

monkey park 2008/7/1 12:22
Are you referring to the Jigokudani Yaen Koen near Yudanaka, the monkey onsen made famous by the Life Magazine photo . !? I was there last April and was quite disappointed. It's nothing more than a pond where the monkeys hang around and only dip into the water where the attendant throws in some food so that visitors can take photos. of them. Maybe during Feb. it's better because there will be snow.

From the bus stop on the main road, you have to hike uphill for 5 min. and then follow the sign for another 20-30 min walk through the wood. The entrance is by the side of a shanty hut which also serves as a gift shop. You pay 500 yen to get in (no advanced booking necessary) and immediately you can see dozens of anger looking monkeys staring at you. Follow the path for another couple of minutes, cross a small bridge and the pond is on your right.
by William rate this post as useful

Thanks 2008/7/2 03:50
We are in the processs of booking in advace as you suggested Uji.
by jeannieb rate this post as useful

Inuyama? 2008/7/2 07:49
I'm wondering if any of the posters are talking about the Japan Monkey Park at Inuyama? We were there last spring and I'd be happy to contribute some info if that's what's being discussed. But I hesitate to go into it if that's NOT what's being discussed.
by Tay rate this post as useful

monkey park 2008/7/2 08:24
Hi Tay

At first I had the same doubt, but looking at jeannieb's first post, Korakukan was mentioned. Korakukan is an onsen ryokan near Jigokudani Yaen Koen, the "monkey onsen" in Yudanaka.

But I'm interested to hear about the Japan Monkey Park in Inuyama. I haven't be there and wonder whether to go or not. Any input is much appreciated.
by William rate this post as useful

Where to stay 2008/7/2 08:48
Shimaya Ryokan in Yudanaka is the best. The Man who owns the place truly goes above and beyond the call of duty to make your stay a wonderful one. He picked up a friend who got lost, he dropped us off at the Monkey park, and picked us up again when we were ready. When we were trying to clean the windshield of our car because it had frozen over, he came running out with a scraper to help us. Google Shimaya Ryokan Yudanaka, I think it's under hostel bookers
by toysan rate this post as useful

... 2008/7/2 10:18
I went last February and really enjoyed it. If you go I would highly recommend going in the winter as the snow makes a nice atmosphere for photos. The walk to the park was nice but I'd recommend wearing shoes that aren't too slippery on snow.

I think it is the best of the 3 monkey parks I've been to (Arashiyama, Takao, and Jigokudani) and is a great place for photographers as there are baby monkeys running around everywhere and playing in the snow, and with ample opportunity for some action photos. If you're looking solely for bathing monkeys however, you may be disappointed that monkeys don't appear to make bathing a priority in their activities, there was only one in the bath the day I was there.

Here is the monkey park's website. They have a livecam so you can see what it looks like in the bath.

http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/english/top/english.htm...

As for the ryokan near the park, we walked by it on the way back to the car and it looked ok. It isn't the only ryokan in the area though as it may seem. There are a whole bunch more near the entrance to the trail to the monkey park that looked newer. The advantage of Korakukan may be that some monkeys like to relax on the roof of its buildings so you may have more picture opportunities there.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Kokuran Onsen 2008/7/2 20:13
by Glen rate this post as useful

Monkeys 2008/7/2 23:55
Of course, monkeys are funny animals and those bathing apes are really funny, but keep in mind that these monkeys are wild animals with big teeth and some of the male monkeys are quite big. These parks don't have any fences and there is always a warning sign at the entrance that entering the park is on your own risk. A few things to keep in mind, don't bring any food with you, leave bags at the locker at the entrance, don't wear (sun)glasses or coats with pockets, never look a male monkey straight in the eyes, don't touch or try to pet them, keep away from the baby or young monkeys and don't use the flash if you take a photo.
by Bert rate this post as useful

Inuyama 2008/7/3 02:03
This is for William who posted a few posts back: We found Inuyama to be a very worthwhile destination. The monkey park (although its been dissed by a few posters in the past) we found to be quite extensive. The most interesting thing is the many pathways and ropeways that the park has devised to allow the monkeys to roam the area. Some cross human walkways, so you have to observe what's above you! It also includes an amusement park that is moderately - amusing.
At certain times of year, Inuyama also has ukai cruises which we found very interesting, as well as a 'mild water' boat trip on the Kiso River. Inuyama Castle is small, but is the oldest original castle in Japan and has a nice viewpoint over the river. A bit out of town is Meiji Mura where many Meiji era buildings and structures from around Japan have been moved to preserve them. Some parts of it are quite worthwhile.
In total, Inuyama is a place worth visiting that hasn't been overly 'discovered" yet. Not an A-1 destination, but worth visiting if you're, for instance, in the Nagoya area.
by Tay rate this post as useful

Inuyama 2008/7/3 02:17
Thank you very much Tay. How long do you think is needed for visiting Meiji-mura ? Can I do it in a day with the Monkey Park ? I'm thinking of going to the Monkey Park in the morning, do Meiji-mura in the afternoon and go directly from there to Nagoya by bus.

Thanks again for your valuable input.
by William rate this post as useful

yes 2008/7/3 06:39
A day will be plenty to see the monkey park and Meiji Mura. At the latter place, it's kind of fun to have tea in the old Imperial Hotel lobby that was moved there when the hotel was torn down. There's also a kabuki theater (no kabuki though), a jail and a bathhouse, and many other buildings and structures.
by Tay rate this post as useful

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