ISLAND LIFE

The world of Snow Monkey (Nagano)

Snow Monkey
The Jigokudani Yaen-koen (altitude 850 meters) is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River sourced from Shiga-Kogen of the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park in northern part of Nagano prefecture. Because of the very steep cliffs and the steam coming off the springs in everywhere, ancient people called this valley ‘Jigokudani (Hell valley)’. Also it is buried in snow almost one third of the year. Even that kind of severe environment here is a paradise on earth for monkeys to live in. The troops of wild Japanese macaque (they are popularly known as snow monkeys) inhabit here naturally through the ages. Since the establishment of Jigokudani Yaen-koen in 1964, it has been a worldwide popular place for watching the bathing monkeys in a hot spring and for ecological observation of researchers or photographers, and some of them who visited here have accomplished certain results in the area.
SPA
SPA

This open-air bath sits amongst natural rock formations.It offers wonderful views of the nightscape that includes the Five Hokushin Peaks, Northern Alps and Zenkoji Pains.
ZENKOJI TEMPLE
ZENKOJI TEMPLE

The history of Zenkoji temple started in 642, when Yoshimitsu Honda enshrined a Buddhist Image at the present site. The main image was created in India and introduced into Japan with Buddhism via Paekche in Korean Peninsula in 552. It is called "The Image of Sangoku Denrai" in Japanese. The image has been believed to lead all the people to the Buddhist Pure Land regardless of their status, gender or creed. It has been earnestly worshipped by many people from those in power at the time to the common people. The main image was completely hidden from the people in 654, and since then no one has ever been allowed to see it. The temple name "Zenkoji" literally means "Yoshimitsu' s temple". It is read as "Zenkoji" by another way of reading of the Chinese characters.
HOKURIKU Shinkansen
HOKURIKU Shinkansen
HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN

Tokyo - Nagano (1hour)