Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley”, is famous for its population of Japanese Macaques. During the winter, when snow starts to fall, the monkeys head down to the valley, to take advantage of the natural hot springs. There, the steam and boiling water keeps them warm. During the summer, most monkeys return to the surrounding forest areas, although many still remain by the hot springs.
Japanese Macaques are born into a strict social class system. Groups have an alpha male, which changes whenever the alpha male dies or leaves the group. Female’s can maintain or achieve a higher social status, by grooming their peers.
Satoko: Don’t worry. Sitting in a hot spring will relieve your anxiety. Mario: Yeah. Satoko: There are separate baths for men and women. So we will not go in together. Mario: Okay. Satoko: Remember to rinse your body before bathing. Any questions? Mario: Just one. Mario: Where are the snow monkeys?
Rōmaji: Satoko: Shinpai naidesu yo. Onsen ni tsukaru to fuan ga yawaragemasu yo. Mario: Hai. Satoko: Otoko no hito to on'anohito o furo wa wakarete imasu. Dakara watashitachiha issho ni wa hairimasen. Mario: Hai. Satoko: Yubune ni hairu mae ni karada o nagasu koto o wasurenaidene. Shitsumon wa? Mario: Hitotsu dake. Mario: “Yuki no saru” wa dokodesu ka?