Iwatayama Monkey Park - in Japanese, "Arashiyama Monkey Park" - is a theme park-like facility in Arashiyama.
The park is a climb up Mt Arashiyama, which overlooks the river that flows through the a heavily wooded and touristed area in western Kyoto City. There are about 170 Japanese macaque monkeys that live there. The monkeys are indeed wild - and caution should be exercised - but can be fed food purchased at the site.
To get there, cross the Togetsudo Bridge from the main area of Arashiyama. Once across the Katsura/Oi River, you turn right and walk with the forest on your left and a canal on your right.
The entrance is up a few steps heading to a shrine and to the left.
Once you pay for your ticket, you will need to hike up for about 15 minutes. Signs will guide you.
Small children should be held or watched closely on the walk up lest they fall over the edge.
When you enter the area in which the monkeys live, a few basic safety precautions are necessary:
1) Don't stare the monkeys in the eye (this is an act of aggression)
2) Don't touch the monkeys
3) Don't feed them outside the area noted on the signs
Rangers are there to guide and help you. Bags of feed can be purchased inside the main building.
Open 9 am - 5 pm every day
Adults: 550 yen; High School and older 250 yen
Friday, January 28, 2011
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