This past weekend brought another great adventure to my Japanese life. I visited Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture, a trip I was extremely excited about because of the opportunity to see wild Japanese monkeys!
We arrived Saturday, late afternoon, after spending the morning driving to this lovely island (and taking a ferry, of course). Our hotel was convienently located right next to this beautiful sight:
At low tide you can walk out to that island
As we arrived right at low tide, we took the opportunity to walk the beach and take it all in. After a delicious dinner at a local hotspot, we went back home to rest up for an exciting Sunday.
On Sunday morning our first stop was to see the monkeys! Not too far from our hotel, we drove up a mountain where there were 2 tribes of Japanese Macaques living. It didn’t take long before monkey’s appeared on the road, unbewildered by the cars and people around them. After paying a small fee to get into the park, it was only minutes before I was scared for my life. Walking in front of us was a young child, carrying a bag from a convienence store. At this point there were no monkey’s in sight, and the child opened the bag to take out some water. Before I knew what was up, a monkey had jumped out from the woods beside us, pushed the small boy over, and grabbed his convienence store bag from him and took off into the woods! I was so alarmed! The kid was having none of it, and took off into the woods after him, arms flailing. That was so amusing. His father went and grabbed him, and we all peered into the woods to see if we could see the robber. There, not far into the woods, was the monkey, trying to eat the plastic bottle. I was both amused and frightened. But that turned out to be the worst the monkey’s could do.
The monkey’s were definitely not afraid of people, and were fed by people who seemed to work there. And by people, I mean an old man, who seemed to flawlessly fit in with their tribe, and whenever he didn’t he kicked them or hit them with a giant stick. Observe:
Although they could get a bit aggressive with each other, they mostly seemed to ignore me. There were signs around the park though that informed the visitors “not to look the monkey in the eyes” and “don’t be afraid, they can sense your fear”. That kind of just made me more afraid. But, after a short time I felt comfortable enough to get close and have my picture taken.
Wish I could be, part of your world. (But not really.)Some of the monkey’s were even, dare I say, cute.
“I’m just a wee babe”… is what I assume this monkey would say if he could talk.
The whole experience was quite fun! But that’s not all Shidoshima had to offer us! We also enjoyed some olive flavoured ice cream and a ride up the ropeway which provided another beautiful view of the island, as well as stopping at a little piece of paradise before our arrival on Shodoshima. For these photos, and more photos of monkey’s (I assume you want to see more of those) click here!
And also check out this other video of a baby monkey riding on the back of it’s mother. Adorable. And, as I obnoxiously note in the video, is what I would be doing if I was a monkey. Which I am not. Just to be clear.
Thanks for reading! Until next time,