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Snow Monkeys

Shibu Onsen is a beautiful small hot springs village with a 1300 year history.  There are 31 Ryokan (traditional Japanese guest houses) and 9 public onsen (hot springs) each with its own healing properties.  It's about 6 hours west of Narita by train and the closest town to the Snow Monkey Park 4 km further up the valley.

One story of the Snow Monkeys - In 1964 a ski resort opened in the mountains pushing the monkeys down towards the farm lands where they became a "pest". One man had the idea of controlling the monkeys by regular feeding and after 5 years the whole troop moved. A young monkey dipped his foot in the hot springs, liked it so he immersed his whole body and the other monkeys soon followed.  A separate Onsen was then built just for the monkeys.

Path to the Snow Monkeys

Street in Shibu Onsen
Two women on their way to ...
... bathe at public onsen number three
Welcome tea in our Ryokan
Dressed in the ryokan yukatas and ready for ...
... a private onsen
First night - hand made soba noodles with mushrooms
Breakfast - eggs cooked in hot spring water
Second night - cold soba noodles, the local speciality
Shibu Onsen Temple snowed in