Jen and I had zero plans while we were in Kyoto and so when she asked if I wanted to check out a “Monkey Park” in the neighboring town of Arashiyama, just a short train ride away, I was on board. She neglected to tell me at the time that we’d be hiking up a dirt trail in the rain. But hey, what’s a little a travel without adventure? If you ever make your way to Japan, I recommend Kyoto, and I highly recommend Arashiyama. It’s home to the monkey park and to the famous bamboo forest AND the Tenryuji Temple, one of Kyoto’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites, which you know I love. This is part of Arashiyama, on the way to the Monkey Park.
So when you get there, you have to hike quite a bit up. I’d highly recommend shoes.
This is how high up we were. As high as the nearby Kyoto tower.
When we first got up we were excited to see the first glimpse of a monkey. Then we turned the corner and saw this.
This is the little research station where you can get some respite from the monkeys if you want. You can also feed them through the little screened off window if you want.
Here we are feeding them through the window.
They’ve got plenty of food outside, but they give you special snacks to feed them through the wire.
They’ve also got friends.
You can get a pretty nice view of Kyoto Tower from up there as well.
In fact you can pretty much see all of Kyoto town.
If you can find a spot in between all the monkeys, that is …
They’ve got a lot of different personalities too. Some chill ones.
Some that don’t like photos.
Some baby ones.
Some nurturing ones.
Some angry ones.
Some ornery ones.
Yup, we had a great time at the park, then headed back down to the town.
We definitely got lost for a couple hours, it started raining on us, we ended up in the middle of the bamboo forest in the dark.
All in a day’s work.
Ended the day we ended most of our Japan days. With some fresh ramen, handmade gyoza, and a couple of cold kirin. Miss ya, Japan.