Our day started late today…but something surprised us! It was snowing! Our 1st experience with snow started on this special Xmas eve!...We were ecstatic and set off with Yumoto-san to Jigokudani Monkey Park..Yumoto-san kindly drove us to the entrance of the park while we trekked about 40mins to where the monkey onsen was..
The view from our window! Snow has come by!no wonder is freezing cold in the room..
The trek(about 30mins) to the Monkey Onsen was spectacular..it was covered with snow..and the wind was gentle..our 1st encounter with snow came and the weather was fantastic!
As we approached the entrance of the Monkey Onsen, the snow gets heavier and the wind becomes stronger. And then, monkeys appeared and they were nothing but KAWAII!...apparently, they are not afraid of humans and have been “trained” to ignore photographers..so many photographer were snapping them..armed with their cameras(including me!)…to take pics of their innocent yet human-like expressions.
Us at the entrance of Jigokudani Monkey Park
Me and Yumoto-san(the owner of Shimaya Ryokan)
Along the trekking route to the wild monkeys
Our SnowMan in Yudanaka :)
At the entrance~it costs about 500yen to enter the park~
Interesting pictures upcoming!
Threading in Process?
Please dont disturb me!
It’s really interesting to see these monkeys in onsen, showing their so damn relaxed looks!..the temp in their onsen is 41deg..while the temp that we were experiencing was -2C..i was shivering as I snapped the following pics..but all was worthwhile!
So many photographers
Some tips for people who wanna take pics in snow:
- Carry tons of batteries and keep them warm to prolong battery life
- Bring your lenshood. Never leave it at home.
- Use a Ziploc bag. Create a hole for the lens and the lens hood.
- Bring a cloth
- Carry an umbrella
Our snowman at Yudanaka!
We left monkey park after spending the whole morning there and took a local bus to Shiga Kogen, the famous ski place which held Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998. The ski park was huge..with numerous ski hills, gondolas, chairlifts, ropeways..and most importantly, ski lovers!
The gondola we took!
The weather was too cold for me so I didn’t ski..we took the Gondola up Yakebitai hill…Japanese like to ski..esp during winter time..heard that most of them head to Nagano, which boasts of many outstanding ski slopes and also at Hokkaido.. I salute to little kids who ski so elegantly along the hill..sugoi desune!
So many pple at the peak of Yakebitai
Even little children take up the challenge!
I can imagine the thrill going down the icy slope..too bad we wont dressed warm enough for this ski challenge!
Let me jus take a pic to save the freezing moment!! it was -8 deg at the peak btw..haha samui!
After Shiga Kogen, we left to makan at a nearby restaurant around Yudanaka station..tasty small dishes..mainly grilled and bbq food..like yakitori, and their cuisine..fantastic with a warm ocha to soothe our stomachs in the cold winter..
Of course, onsen came next after dinner..a standard exercise to do esp when staying in ryokan!