Iwatayama Monkey Park
This is one of the things that I absolutely had to do while in Kyoto. Mind you, this is not for the faint of heart as the park is located on top of a mountain. I trained for this park with my mum for a month, walking up and down the hills of her neighborhood for at least 4 to 5 miles, three times a week. It proved to be of good worth as the hike up the mountain was definitely challenging, but it was so worth it. Near the top of the mountain, we were greeted by Japanese monkeys just free roaming the mountainside.
At the top, there is an open space with a small wooden building. No food is allowed in the park. In addition, they also show you pictures of what the monkeys look like when they are agitated or even angry. Do not look the monkeys too long in the eye or they will see it as a challenge. I definitely pushed this boundary with my dSLR camera, and a monkey actually became a bit irked with me. However, I got some really nice photos!
Inside the building, you can purchase peanuts or apple slices where you can feed the monkeys, from the inside. The small building is wired where the windows would be. There is air-conditioning inside, but it is pretty much open-air. The monkeys will climb from the roofs or from the ground up and hang onto the wired windows. Then they will stretch out their hands and you feed them peanuts but placing the food on your open palm. What an experience! I definitely had a great time here, and I would recommend this to anyone who is physically able to walk up the mountain.
This was definitely one of those days where a tourist has to spend the entire day here. The weather was sunny and in the mid-seventies. Just outside Kyoto, it’s definitely a break from the city hustle-and-bustle. Kyoto isn’t even that much city compared to Tokyo.
For more information on the monkey park, you can go here: Iwatayama Monkey Park .
Thank you for being so faithful,