KYOTO MONKEY, JAPAN

I am not sure if people know about Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto. It wasn’t listed as one of the “must see” in Kyoto as I researched for our trip. But as an animal loving family, when we found out about it we quickly added it to our itinerary.

The park is on the top of a mountain and sanctuary to 140 monkeys.

Iwatayama Monkey Park (Japanese: 嵐山モンキーパーク, Arashiyama Monkī Pāku) is a commercial park located in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan. The park is on Mt Arashiyama, on the same side of the Oi River as the train station. It is inhabited by a troop of over 170 Japanese macaque monkeys. The animals are wild but can be fed food purchased at the site.

It is a 20-25 minute climb up the small mountain and as you get closer to the top, you start to see the monkeys in the trees. The macaques are everywhere.

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This was a very different experience than Bali. The sanctuary is very well controlled, you do not feed the monkeys as they are conditioned to 2 feeding patterns; pre-set feeding times (we arrived at for the 1pm feeding) and the option to buy food and feed them from behind caged windows in a single building.

Upon reflection, this makes the entire experience safer for both the animals and humans.

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This fellow made me laugh. The entire time we were there he sat on the post, waiting for a tourist to hand him some nuts.

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I could have stayed all day photographing the macaques. These are the same monkeys that enjoy the hot springs in the winter.

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This fellow was sitting on the edge and a big yellow koi kept flitting around his feet. Every once in a while he would just reach down and flick it away.

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Fun to watch them .. just “hanging out”.

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A Kyoto must-see .. and all of the babies were an added bonus.

Comments

  1. The monkeys are so cute!

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