19 minutes ago
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So out of all the photos I took when I visited the famous Snow Monkey Park in Japanthis is my favourite. For a few reasons. I'm not sure if it's a she or he (anyone know?) but her/his expression says it all. And behind, I have intentionally chosen this photo where you can see our human presence, our intrusion. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I had different expectations before I went to visit these gorgeous creatures. Restrospectively, these expectations were naive. I knew I wanted to see the Snow Monkeys when I went on this trip however I didn't consider that "of course" other people would have the same idea. After all, what idea is unique? A quick Google search will reveal there are now currently 7.7 billion people alive. And well, there are a lot of tourists from all over the world who make their way to the park every day to see the Snow Monkeys. It saddens me a little and I sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong era. This is no untouched savage forest where you might unobtrusively chance upon snow monkeys bathing in hot springs during winter months. This. This is another tourist attraction. A lovely one but just another attraction where you will meet a hoard of other tourists and wannabe travel bloggers *ahem* with their cameras and travel paraphernalias. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And it is no walk in the park to get here. From Tokyo, I took an overnight bus to Nagano Station where I then made my way to Yudanaka Station and from there to my accommodation. I stayed at a traditional Ryokan and they offer to drive you to the entrance of the park. You then have a 30 minute (which was more like an hour for me) climb through the snow covered forest. You'll need snow boots and a stick so you don't fall down the cliff. Or just a stick if you were foolish like me and hiked up the park wearing only a pair of Nike sneakers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I'll be sharing a few more photos in the following days.