Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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Iwatayama Monkey Park & My Primate Obsession

Hello, hello!  I can’t believe it’s already February!  I’ve been super busy ever since we returned from our European holiday over Christmas and New Years so this blog’s been a lil’ neglected.  I’ve been wrapping up my current project at work, preparing for new projects (there’s a few of them in the works), and planning a huge trip for later this year.  I’m still in the very early stages of planning right now so not much is confirmed, however, ever since I started entertaining the idea of embarking on a gorilla trek in Uganda, I’ve been uh-bsessed with gorillas, chimps, and monkeys.

If you have 4 min, check out this video of a guy who was actually touched by gorillas while in Uganda:

I wish I were THAT GUY!

In keeping with the primate theme, I wanted to share some pics from Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto.  This was one of my fave activities when we were in Japan because I got to spend two hours up there feeding monkeys and just chillin’ out with their bad selves!  I’m fascinated by them because they look and act like humans.  I probably could have spent all day there, but Mr. T wanted to leave (he worries I’m going to get ebola thanks to the movie, Outbreak :().  Either way, it was a deliriously entertaining two hours for me, and if I could, I’d have a bunch of monkeys in my backyard so that I could go out there and feed them at my leisure!

Can you see how crazy I am about primates?  I’m off to watch Disney’s Chimpanzee movie again now (Oscar the chimp is way adorbs!).

Iwatayama Monkey Park
8 Genrokuyama-cho, Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto City
Open 9am-5pm everyday; 4pm in the winter

If you’re planning on going:

  • Be prepped to hike uphill for 15 min to get to the park.
  • They sell food up there to feed the monkeys but you could save some yen and bring your own bag of nuts (the monkeys love chestnuts) to feed them, too.
  • When the loud music plays, get your camera out!  One of the workers walks out and throws tons of seeds on the ground and the monkeys scurry to grab them!
  • On the way out of the park, there’s a long slide you can ride to get down- wheeeeeee!
  • You should combine this with a visit to the Sagano Bamboo Grove.

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