Capture Japan: Snow Monkey Park

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Yamanouchi

If you’re ever in Nagano, I would recommend visiting the Snow Monkey Park in Yamanouchi! It’s hidden away up in the beautiful mountains in Nagano prefecture. It’s about an hour from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station by train. Yudanaka is known for it’s onsen or hot springs, so there are many cute Japanese inns scattered around the area. From Yudanaka Station, there is bus that will take you up to the Snow Monkey Park (about 15 minute ride). After that it’s about a 15-20 minute hike up the mountain the find the elusive hot springs full of adorable snow monkeys! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hike up all the way up to the hot springs, but I was able to find one little monkey hanging around the base. Very adorable! …but be careful as these cute monkeys are quite strong and can be a little vicious if provoked. It was still definitely a great trip out there!

 

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Taste Japan: Homemade Soba

Countryside Teuchi Soba in Yamanouchi

On our way up to visit the snow monkey park, we passed by a small soba or buckwheat noodle specialty shop …in the middle of nowhere. The restaurant was small and cozy, and really gave off a true inaka or countryside vibe. The soba was all handmade and fresh, making it extra delicious on a hot summer day! Soba is definitely one of my favorite Japanese foods. It’s such a simple dish, but I never get tired of eating it. Plus, my grandparents used to say it’s relatively healthy for you (although I’m not sure how much of that is backed by science, haha). If you do get the chance to try soba in Japan, please go to a regular soba shop, as the convenience store soba does not do the dish any justice!

Capture Japan: Nagano Daisies

Daisies in Nagano

A short post from my short trip to Nagano. The yellow daisies by the side of the river were in full bloom, so I couldn’t resist snapping some pictures! It was so relaxing and the air was fresh and temperate up in the mountains. I would love to have stayed a little longer☆