Japan – Day 7 – 6/18/08: The Swimming Snow Monkeys (Part 2)

<< Part 1

So after all that traveling we finally reached the Jigokudani Monkey Park. We figured two things:

  • It’s Summer, so they probably won’t be swimming in the hot springs
  • We’re lucky if we even get to see a monkey at all

Wrong on both counts!

There were monkeys everywhere. Old monkeys, young monkeys, baby monkeys, monkey families, swimming monkeys, etc. It was awesome. And the monkeys walk right up to you, but don’t bother you. Well, at least the curious younger ones do. The old ones just kind of keep an eye on you out of the corner of their eye, but for the most part ignore you. Plus, besides us, there were only 3 or 4 other people there.

Apparently, what they do is leave food out at night to encourage them to stay in there. They do this at night, when the monkeys are sleeping in the trees, so that they don’t associate humans with food. It seems to have worked, as unlike many other monkeys that have been accustomed to having humans around, they never harassed us in the least. This was their world, and while we were tolerated, we were not a part of it, merely observers. And I will happily say, there was no flinging of feces either. Then again, they do have a person who’s full time job is to follow the monkeys around and scoop their poop.

60 - Curious Monkey - 20080618
45 - Snow Monkeys - 20080618 67 - Snow Monkey - 20080618
79 - Old Man Monkey - 20080618 93 - Monkey Salute - 20080618
95 - Yawning Monkey - 20080618 100 - Snow Monkey - 20080618
101 - Wise Monkey - 20080618

Finally, it was time to head back. We needed to catch the 4:50 bus, or the next bus wouldn’t be till three hours later. We basically had twenty minutes to hightail it back to the bus. This could potentially be a problem, as I had blown out my knee the very first day in Tokyo. I had no problems going uphill, or up stairs, but as soon as anything downhill happened, the pain was pretty excrutiating. And the whole walk back was going to be downhill. Luckily, I had planned ahead, and bought an ace bandage(well, the japanese version of one) the night before, and wrapped my knee up. It certainly helped, and I felt no real pain during the walk back to the bus. And as an added bonus, we even came upon something I didn’t even know existed. A mountain crab. He was just sitting right there in the middle of the trail.

116 - Mountain Crab - 20080618

Now comes the fun part. After finally getting back to Tokyo it was time to remove the bandage. Now let me tell you, japanese ace bandages are nothing like their american counterparts, that either need clips to secure them, or stick to themselves. They have adhesive on the inside, which on top of sticking to the bandage itself, also sticks to your skin. And your hair. And it’s about as sticky as duct tape. OUCH!!!!!!! Removing that thing was probably more painful than my bum knee. And it pulled out all of my hair. OUCH!!!!!

119 - Ouch! - 20080618

On the flip side, wearing the bandage did seem to get my knee back into alignment, and I felt no pain for the rest of the trip. Maybe I shouldn’t have procrastinated so long. Then again, it’s still a toss up as to whether another 10 days of pain woul have been preferrable to the pain of removing that thing.

Check out the full set of pictures on my Flickr here.


~ by chriggy on August 27, 2008.

4 Responses to “Japan – Day 7 – 6/18/08: The Swimming Snow Monkeys (Part 2)”

  1. […] To be continued … Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Raw Video: Monkey on the Loose in Japan […]

  2. Ugh. That bandage sounds really NOT fun. I am reminded of the capsicum patches I used to wear for my back….

  3. Now you know what it feels like to wax your legs ;P

  4. Yay Snowmonkeys!!!!

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