We were dropped off at the entrance to the monkey park. Luckily the ryokan insisted that we borrow snow boots (free of charge) because I did not realize that the path was so snowy. It was a 30 minute walk uphill through the most beautiful scenery. The park opened at 8, and we were dropped off around 9. We totally missed the crowds. The tour groups started arriving as we were leaving.
The entrance to the park was 500 yen. What a deal! I did not know we would be so close to the snow monkeys, or that they would want to be so "personable" with us. There were five babies playing with each other that ran up to us as we walked down the path.
They look so soft and furry (like real life ewoks) but what ever you do, do not try to pet them. They can squeal really loud. What? It was Fred, not me!
When you picture snow monkeys this is the image that comes to mind. Snow monkeys relaxing in an onsen without a care in the world.
They are cute, but also kind of look like they are plotting an attack on mankind.
The snow monkeys were the reason we came to the mountains (them and snow boarding).
It was better than I could have expected.
What an experience.