Visiting Monkey Park Iwatayama in Kyoto, Japan
Japan has many unique animal experiences like the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido where you can view penguins waddling around right next to you, Owl Cafes where you can pet and hold the most darling birds you’ll ever lay eyes on, and even a monkey park and preservation area that sits on top of a beautiful mountain overlooking Kyoto. Welcome to Monkey Park Iwatayama where, for a very short hike and 550¥, you can visit a mountain that is home to many snow monkeys (also known as Japanese macaques).
As you walk along the path to Monkey Park Iwatayama you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the Oi River that flows through the Arashiyama Forest area.
READ MORE: Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine
You’ll reach the Monkey Park Iwatayama entrance gate where you will pay your entrance fee and receive some information to read on your adventure to the top. To make things easier we included this information below.
Rules of Monkey Park Iwatayama
Yeah, we know… who likes rules? But we weren’t about to break these!
1. Don’t stare into the monkey’s eyes. They consider it a threat and some will become aggressive.
2. Don’t touch the monkeys. This is for the safety of the monkeys but also for your safety as they tend to be a bit territorial, especially when it comes to their offspring!
3. Don’t feed the monkeys outside of the hut. This causes trouble with them approaching visitors and can lead to aggression. Alternate? For 100¥ there are peanuts and apples available for purchase. These are located inside the air-conditioned hut that will also allow access to feeding areas.
Other Important Things to Note
1. Located 525ft (160m) above sea level This isn’t just a park to view monkeys. It also has an amazing skyline view of Kyoto, you can even see Kyoto Tower in the distance when it isn’t cloudy!
2. It is a 20-minute mountain hike that can be a little steep at times so make sure you bring water and comfortable shoes. We didn’t find this hike to be particularly challenging but wouldn’t recommend it to those who have trouble walking at steeper inclines. If you do get tired there are many “resting areas” along the trail.
3. As said above, for only 100¥ you can get a cup of food to feed the monkeys inside the air-conditioned hut/resting room area. There are also souvenirs, snacks, and drinks for you to purchase as well.
4. Outside you are able to get up close to the many monkeys that reside here but just keep in mind that you are not allowed to touch them.
Address and Visiting Hours
Address: 〒616-0007 8, Arashiyama Genrokuzan-cho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
Click here to get directions by train
Hours: Spring & Summer (3/15-10/31): 9am – 5pm | Winter (11/1-3/14): 9am– 4pmCost: Adults: 550¥, Children (4-15yrs): 250¥, Under 4 years: FREE
READ THE GUIDE: 5 Days in Kyoto, Japan
So was it worth it? We think so! It was touching to visit a place that preserved and protected the home of these amazing monkeys. So what do you think? Would you want to visit Monkey Park Iwatayama?