Japan – Day 7 – 6/18/08: The swimming snow monkeys (Part 1)

Well, been slacking off on these Japan entries for a while. Nearly two months after the fact, and I finally get around to posting Day 7. Thankfully, the rest of the days are already posted, and asides from some wrap up posts, this comes close to concluding my posts about the trip.

This would be another day of heavy travel. I was absolutely not going to leave Japan without seeing the swimming snow monkeys. However, in order to get there, that meant taking a 2 hour train ride on the Asama line to Nagano, followed by another 45 minute train ride to Yudanaka, followed by a 15 minute bus ride to Kanbayashi Onsen(hot springs), then about another 30 minute uphill hike through the forest to get to the actual monkey preserve. So including waiting and transfer times, probably a total of about 4 hours to get there. One way.

The train ride from Nagano to Yudanaka was pretty cool though. The conductor actually sits in a capsule on top of the train, so there’s an unobstructed view out the front and rear of the train.

03 - On the way to Yudanaka - 20080618

09 - Yudanaka - Scenic Train - 20080618

Once we had arrived in Yudanaka, I would also learn the hard way that some Japanese vending machines sell both hot and and cold drinks. All I wanted was a can of nice cold coffee. I was unpleasantly surprised when I got a piping hot can instead. In hindsight it makes sense. Red label, hot. Blue label, cold. Luckily Shannon didn’t mind the hot coffee, so I still got to drink my cold coffee.

13 - Vending Machine - 20080618

After the fairly short bus ride, it was time to get walking. It was fairly hot and humid out that day, but at least most of the walk was through the woods, so it actually made for a pretty nice hike. And little did we know there would be a pot of gold waiting at the end. Well, a vending machine with beer at least.

24 - On the path to the Snow Monkeys - 20080618 32 - Much needed refreshments - 20080618 38 - There at last - 20080618

It was finally time to see the monkeys we had come all the way to see 🙂

To be continued …

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~ by chriggy on August 19, 2008.

3 Responses to “Japan – Day 7 – 6/18/08: The swimming snow monkeys (Part 1)”

  1. that is quite the long travel time…!

  2. It was worth it!

  3. […] Japan – Day 7 – 6/18/08: The Swimming Snow Monkeys (Part 2) << Part 1 […]

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