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    Macaque monkey in Jigokudani

A day split in to two - morning snowmobiling and then, the afternoon, visit the snow monkeys at Jigokudani.

The snowmobiling takes place at nearby Shiga Kogen (another ski resort) and the course is ideal for novices as well as those who've experienced this activity before. Beginners get a short lesson before hitting the trails. However, rather than just sticking on the trails, even beginners can have a play off-piste in the powder. For more experienced riders you can head up and down the slopes of the private ski area. Everyone rides their own snowmobile (no passengers) and lessons are included is required - your guides can stay with your throughout. You'll be out on the machines for about 90 minutes and lunch is included in the enclosed area.

Approximately 200 macaque monkeys live in and around the hot springs  of Jigokudani -  otherwise known as "Hells Valley" because of the steep cliffs and hot water steaming from the earth's surface. Enter into their winter world, as they play in the snow and then warm up in the onsen - much as the Japanese like to do themselves. Well-accustomed to spectators, the monkeys largely  ignore their human audience and just get on with it.   You have to walk to reach the pools - about 10-15 minutes - and the route tracks through the forest, where you may actually come across the monkeys before the onsens, walking around or just sitting in the trees.