THE MONKEY BABIES, KYOTO, JAPAN

There were plenty of monkey babies at the Iwatayama Monkey Park. This little fellow didn’t look old and wobbled like a new born.

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He also stayed very close to his mom.

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It was interesting to watch the mothers. At one point a commotion broke out behind me between this very angry mother …. (baby hanging on tight) ..

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and this frightened male, who clearly did not want to tangle and kept retreating. Perhaps he forgot to take out the garbage?

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These two little fellows were having a great time, chasing each other around and playing.

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Glad we stopped at the park.

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.

MY LAST MONKEY ENCOUNTER

As it was our last day, we returned to our villa in the late afternoon and the boys voted to hang out on the deck until dinner – relaxing. The guide had told me that the best time to see monkeys is from 4-5pm before the sun heads south on the road that leads north of the lodge. The benefit being that the road is on a ridge cutting through the jungle. I spent almost two hours hanging out on the road, watching the wildlife.

The first encounter were these Spider Monkeys. A male, female and a baby about 10 meters from me at eye level (as they were 20-30 meters up the trees, it was a sharp drop off beside the road). They just swung beside me. I think I watched them for almost an hour.

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Those babies need to hold on tight.

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The dad emerged from a tree beside me.

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I walked a little farther down the road and watch a group of Howler Monkeys raid the fruit off a tree.

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Their agility is remarkable.

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This fellow stood parallel to the ground, thanks to a very strong tail.

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As I walked back to the lodge, this little fellow hung about 2 meters above me, enjoying some fruit (unfortunately, he was directly into the sun).

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One way to make a few hours fly by. And then it was all over …

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