When in Nagano...

This weekend I spent what I would consider the perfect winter escape from Tokyo.
Nagano can be reached from Tokyo within 4 hours, and comes complete with world class ski resorts, and some of the cutest monkeys you will ever see!

I joined a Tokyo Gaijin's tour, and boarded the bus late Friday night for the winding trip to Nagano. Saturday was spent cruising down the powder dusted slopes of Shiga Kogen. We got lucky with clear blue skies, and only a slight snow shower in the afternoon. Skiing was followed by an early evening of bathing my ski-weary limbs at the hotel onsen, and a delicious traditional style Japanese meal, complete with tempura apple! (Apples being a specialty in Nagano).


Another Nagano highlight is getting up close and personal with the wild monkeys at Jigokudani Yaenkoen.
The story goes that the local monkeys use to venture in to the town in winter to find warmth and food. In order to prevent this, the townspeople created an area of hot-spring onsens for the monkeys to relax in and escape the cold (similar to what I had done the previous day). There are bathing monkeys, baby monkeys, and monkeys of all sizes which will walk through your legs, and apparently attack if you stare at them!

Old-man monkey, chilling in his natural hot tub 

Family pics 
Beautiful photos courtesy of Giles Tuck.

No comments:

Post a Comment