The year of monkey 2016
posted on January 16, 2016
The year 2016 has started! According to the Chinese horoscope which is widespread in Japan as well, this year is the year of monkey. People celebrate the start of the New Year by sending New Year’s cards illustrated with images of monkeys or by putting drawings or pictures of monkeys on various websites. What attracts increasing attention is the snow monkeys living in Jogokudani in the mountains of Nagano, which is the only place in the world where monkeys bathe in hot springs. Actually, there are much less snow than usual this winter, so we probably have to wait a bit more to observe the bathing monkeys with the background of snow totally white. The picture below was taken last winter. If you plan to visit this place, don’t forget to take winter clothing, shoes and equipment to walk along the mountain path still covered with some snow for 60 minutes. The maximum temperature these days is around 32-35 degrees F.