Monkey Mountain @ Arashiyama

[“If you want to look at the world through the scope, look at me first”, says the Monkey King]
Yes, that is the monkey park located at Mt. Arashiyama, about 15min walk from Torroko Saga Station, past Togetsukyo Bridge to the “World of the Monkeys”. While it is unfortunate that I have been as close as 1.2km to this amazing place, I didn’t set foot on it :/  … What can I say lol, just don’t make my mistake hahaha! And most of all, I would like to thank Golden Diamond for allowing me to re-blog her article so that others visiting Arashiyama for the natural beauty there, won’t miss out this treasure among others.

[I am looking at you … and I can smell the food in your backpack …]
They will be looking at you everywhere, every step you take … they are just above you on the branches, behind the tree trunks, everywhere just a step beyond the shadows … They will be sniffing you out for food, that is food that you might have brought as your own snacks …hahah

Yes, these are wild, untamed macaques, native to Japan, also called “Snow Monkey”. While it is definitely not as scary as I made it to be, nevertheless, caution precedes interaction with wild animals and there are some basic rules for visitors to follow:

  • Don’t stare in an aggressive manner to a monkey looking at you. This is definitely a way to provoke their aggressive traits.
  • Keep your hands to yourself and refrain from touching. Don’t look at this little critters as smaller and weaker than us. When they bite, it’s gonna be nasty.
  • And don’t feed them outside designated areas which would encourage them to test their boundaries with human visitors for food.

[Park staff spreading the feed to the wild macaques at designated timings]
Oh yes … the monkeys like to be fed, and they are almost perpetually hungry for food, and I wonder why? And for once, the human is within the cage to feed, with the monkeys roaming freely. That is a different perspective for a change. And boy, do these monkeys move lightning fast to grab the food off the human hands.

[Steve feeding the monkey from within the designated feeding hut]
And if one is lucky, the native macaque might just grace your camera to take a photo with you 🙂

(Psss … there is a little secret to tis that I am not gonna tell you. If you want to know how to invite a snow macaque to take a photo with you, check out the link below for the original article from ~ Golden Diamond ~)

[The monkey boss sits on the Monkey Throne to grace this photograph]
Original Source from : Monkey Mountain Japan


Arashiyama: Another photogenic Autumn Beauty …

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[Blue Sky in contrast to the Autumn Colors, accentuated by the shaded rocks in Hozu River]
Arashiyama have numerous sight-seeing spots from the Bamboo Grove, a number of temples (Daikakuji, Gioji, Nisonin temple, etc), Sagano scenic rail-ride and Hozu River Cruise to name a few. On my trip there, I was fortunate to be able to at least make it to two of the scenic sites … though more would have been better on hind-sight, just that they weren’t part of the plan then.


We took the Sagano Scenic Rail ride (from Torokko Saga Station) after hopping out from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. It is just located conveniently beside each other. The rail ride by the ravine brought us towards Torokko Kameoka Station. At the Kameoka station, there are connecting buses that took us to where we could enjoy the Hozu River Cruise! It was as convenient as could be 😀

I forgot whether the bus rides cost money or not though haha …. I suppose it does, what doesn’t 😛

The Sagano Scenic Railway ride has another sexy alias …. “The Sagano Romantic Train” hahaha …. maybe to reflect that once anyone seats on the classic old-fashion style train winding by the side of the Nishiyama mountains along the ravines, with Hozu river below at certain stretches, the ride would literally have one fall in love with the scenery that chugs by.

I didn’t manage to catch a lot of quality photos as the rail ride that I had was really crowded during Autumn and it took me quite awhile to position myself for one or two few good photo shots only lol …. not to mention that the train vibrations and close photo shots while moving were difficult without a DSLR camera.

[Red Autumn leaves in the foreground of Hozu River … as the Sagano Train chugs by the ravines of Nishiyama Mountain]
I have to say that the temperature was cold upon entering the Hozu River. Perhaps it was due to our itchy hands that went dipping into the ice cold water only to be exposed back into the cold autumn temperature that came with a soothing wind! The heat pack didn’t too work well for us hahaha! Or perhaps our hands were just too cold to feel the heat pack. But thankfully my hands were still agile enough to take some amazing photos from the Hozu River cruise, with every few moments creeping my hands back into the thick gloves to generate a little bit more warmth for the next photo shot.

[The skilled hands of the boatman guiding the boat with bamboo poles]
[The skilled hands of the boatman guiding the boat through the river with bamboo poles]
[A lone golden tree by the river bank illuminated by a solo sun-ray]
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[More amazing autumn colors accentuated by the river flow]

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[The brilliant color display from the mountain side by Hozugawa River]
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[Glad to be finally out of the freezing water though every moment of the cold autumn was well worth it!]