Japan's Jigokudani Monkey Park is home to a population of wild, native Japanese macaque monkeys, which are often photographed playing in the area's natural hot springs and enjoying the snowfall that occurs several months a year. The monkeys are often referred to as snow monkeys, and other than humans, no primate is known to live in a colder climate. The Jigokudani Monkey Park, which is part of Japan's Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, was established during the 1960s.
The park helps keep the monkeys safe while also giving people the opportunity to observe these unique creatures in their natural habitat as they play in the snow and enjoy the warmth and comfort of the natural hot springs. "Jigokudani" translates roughly to "Hell Valley," a reference to the steam and heat produced by these natural pools.
Even though photographs and videos of the playing monkeys are quite popular, visiting the park itself is physically difficult, requiring that visitors walk a difficult, narrow trail in order to enter the park. This keeps most visitors away. The park occasionally features live webcams on its official website, which can help those who can't physically visit and get a live view of the monkeys at play.