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    Japanese Macaque

Jigokudani – or Hell’s Valley – is a playground of sheer, jagged cliffs for Japanese Macaques, or ‘snow monkeys’. In this harsh climate, the monkeys have learned to warm themselves up in natural hot springs almost daily – and they’ll tolerate a few spectators. Your guide will take you through the small farming villages of ‘Snow Country’ to Joshinetsu National Park, where you’ll hike for half an hour to reach their bathing pools, learning about the local plant and animal life as you go. Often the tours also visit the ancient onsen village of Shibu on the way home, which has served as a place of convalescence for Samurai, artists and travellers through the centuries and displays wonderful historic buildings.