Monkey Park Iwatayama | Kyoto, Japan

When Markus and I visited the Philippines, one of our biggest regrets was missing the tarsiers in Bohol. We decided that if we had a chance to see exotic animals, we would take it. Markus is a huge fan of animals. He loves them and even knows random facts for heaps of animals. As soon as he knew that we were traveling to Japan, Markus requested that we see the snow monkeys. I readily agreed, but I was worried that since it was summer, we wouldn't be able to see them. The most famous spot for snow monkeys is Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, but we weren't traveling in that direction. Thankfully, Kyoto has Iwatayama Monkey Park and they are open year round. 

The park is located on a mountain, so you have to hike quite a bit to get there. The day that we visited was so hot that the park gave us plastic bags of ice. At first, I thought it was kinda strange. Although after 20 minutes of hiking, it was a lifesaver. After about 30-40 minutes, we finally reached the top and monkey paradise. It was pretty awesome seeing so many in one spot. My favorite thing was feeding time and seeing them chase a guy tossing out food. It was both cool and scary. Imagine seeing about 30 monkeys running toward you, definitley terrifying. Either way, it was a great time and I'm glad that Markus was able to finally have his monkey experience.