Japan – Snow Monkeys

Japanese macaques inhabit Japan's central mountainous regions. During winter, temperatures often drop below -15 °C and snowfall can be heavy. A particular group of monkeys has found a way to relax in this harsh weather. Every day they visit the Jigokudani hot springs near Nagano.

Japanese Macaques groom each other to maintain social relationships within the group.
Japanese Macaques groom each other to maintain social relationships within the group.
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Snow monkey relaxing in the warm hot spring water.
Snow monkey relaxing in the warm hot spring water.
Monkey getting groomed by a younger group member.
Monkey getting groomed by a younger group member.
Portrait of a Japanese macaque, also known as snow monkeys.
Portrait of a Japanese macaque, also known as snow monkeys.
Not all the monkeys love the warm water. Some go in, some just stay somewhere around the hot springs.
Not all the monkeys love the warm water. Some go in, some just stay somewhere around the hot springs.
Snow monkey enjoying his bath and groom.
Snow monkey enjoying his bath and groom.
Young snow monkey playing in the hot water spring in the cold central Japan winter.
Young snow monkey playing in the hot water spring in the cold central Japan winter.
Grooming is a way for monkeys to form and maintain bonds within their group.
Grooming is a way for monkeys to form and maintain bonds within their group.
A thick fur protects the monkeys against the cold.
A thick fur protects the monkeys against the cold.
This monkey is teaching her little one the custom of hanging out in the hot water springs.
This monkey is teaching her little one the custom of hanging out in the hot water springs.
Snow Monkey scratching his toes.
Snow Monkey scratching his toes.
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