Steve Bloom Images/Alamy

Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Japan

7 of 12

The Soak: The old adage “monkey see, monkey do” is
apropos, as this mountain region’s Japanese macaques (a.k.a. snow monkeys) have
taken such a liking to the steamy onsens (Japanese for “hot springs”) that they’ve claimed the best for themselves. All we hapless humans can do is
watch—and then head to Yamanouchi town, where a dozen-plus traditional (no
swimsuits) communal onsens await.

The Scene: Jigokudani means “Hell’s Valley,”
and it is a trek to get to these secluded pools located at 2,790 feet and a
mile-plus by foot through formidable forest. But persevering monkey fans will
be rewarded.

When to Go: Winter, when the simian-filled springs
are steamiest and skiers can hit the slopes at nearby 1998 Nagano Olympics site
Shiga Kogen.

World's Coolest Hot Springs

Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Japan

The Soak: The old adage “monkey see, monkey do” is
apropos, as this mountain region’s Japanese macaques (a.k.a. snow monkeys) have
taken such a liking to the steamy onsens (Japanese for “hot springs”) that they’ve claimed the best for themselves. All we hapless humans can do is
watch—and then head to Yamanouchi town, where a dozen-plus traditional (no
swimsuits) communal onsens await.

The Scene: Jigokudani means “Hell’s Valley,”
and it is a trek to get to these secluded pools located at 2,790 feet and a
mile-plus by foot through formidable forest. But persevering monkey fans will
be rewarded.

When to Go: Winter, when the simian-filled springs
are steamiest and skiers can hit the slopes at nearby 1998 Nagano Olympics site
Shiga Kogen.

Steve Bloom Images/Alamy

World's Coolest Hot Springs

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