Hi there. I am Masa.
I visited snow monkey park in new year holiday with my family.
We saw many monkeys soaking in the natural hot spring.That was very interesting.
The official name of Snow monkey park is Jigokudani- Yaen-koen （地獄谷野猿公園） which literary means Hell valley wild monkey park.
In Japan hot spring where we can see the steam of geothermal heat comes out from the ground is often called as Jigoku (hell). It is a hell but like the Paradise!
Jigokudani Yaen Koen is the only place we can see wild monkeys soaking in the bath.
The way monkeys enjoying the bath is completely same as human being taking bath.
There are many monkeys in the park.They all are wild monkeys living in mountains. Actually they are coming down to the park every morning to enjoy hot spring and food and they go back home every evening.
Though they are originally just called Saru (monkey) in Japan, overseas tourists who saw monkey soaking in the hot spring surrounded by much snow found interesting and started to call them Snow monkey and now they become world famous. Lots of tourists from all over the world come to see them.
The park is located in Nagano prefecture north-west of Tokyo, where is mountainous area with deep snow in winter and also good Onsens. Shiga Kogen ski resort is reachable in 30 min. by car.
Did you know in Japan even capybaras (or capibaras) are also big fans of Onsen? They are originally from southern America. Maybe the winter in Japan is too cold so that they come to fall in love with Onsen ! You can see them at Izu Cactus park, Saitama children’s zoo and some other zoos in Japan.