Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Monkeys




So here they are! The Japanese snow monkeys! It was a magical day- we hiked on a beautiful mountain trail through the woods with big fat snowflakes falling all around us.. About three quarters of the way through, monkeys started appearing from out of the woods and other trails and joined us, running up alongside all the other people on the way to the hot springs. We thought for sure there would be tons of monkeys in the water to keep warm in the blizzard- but surprisingly, none of them were actually getting in. The water was deserted pretty much the whole time. I was a little disappointed to not get any shots of monkeys chilling in the water, but luckily enough of them hung around the waterfall and perimeter enough to get some of the sorts of images I was hoping for.









When we checked the weather report before leaving, it was supposed to be 45F and sunny, so we weren't quite prepared for this crazy weather. I had forgotten gloves, and after a while, my hands were red and raw and aching from the cold, especially when the wind started to pick up later in the morning. Ryan's coat soaked through after being covered in so many layers of falling snow, so he was pretty miserable once his coat and sweater had gotten wet, and then the weather became more windy. So our patience and stamina for photos and video waned fairly quickly.

I sacrificed my hands a little longer to get some good videos and closeups of some babies that appeared near the waterfall toward the end of our stay, and then we figured we'd better get ourselves somewhere dry and warm, especially Ryan, since hypothermia was not exactly part of the ideal Valentines getaway. We ended up having to walk the whole way back actually, because the bus didn't show up and our hotel shuttle was only one way. I have never been more excited to jump in an onsen than when we got back to our Ryokan- every article of clothing soaked and half frozen. Adventure Mode was certainly enabled this vacation...


  1. These pictures are so cool! What an amazing thing to see and photograph!

  2. Awesome! This is on my bucket list. So jealous of all your adventures.

  3. Ah these pictures are SO COOL! I minored in anthropology in college and apes and monkeys fascinate me. I want to see snow monkeys! They're so cute!

    Jamie |

  4. What an incredible adventure! Amazing! It looks definitely as a life experience, adding it immediately to my (eternal) wishlist. Sorry to hear about the gloves, the ice can hurt so much.

  5. oh how cute! and stunning stunning pictures!

  6. ahhhhh! the little monkeys!! i love them. these photos are gorgeous! how absolutely magical. i know how awfully cold the snow can be, but it always looks so pretty. im glad you guys didnt get frostbite!