Photo By: Cassandra Ling
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kyoto
Population
2,644,331

Iwatayama Monkey Park

In Kyoto? Monkey see, monkey do it!

Kyoto’s Arashiyama area is full of some of the best spots to experience Japanese culture. When you are done absorbing the area’s history, take a break to feed some adorable wild monkeys and get a great view at the Iwatayama Monkey Park.

Found just south of the Togetsukyo Bridge, the entrance to the park is a small shrine. Take the 20- to 30-minute hike up the mountain, watching out for monkeys running wild in the park. It boasts about 120 snow monkeys that live on the mountain side, with the lure of food keeping them around for visitors to see.  They are native to Japan, and, yes, these are the type of monkeys seen in iconic photos in which they’re bathing in hot springs in winter.

kyoto monkey park

Photo by: Victoria Vlisides Enjoy monkeys with a view.

When you reach the top you will find a small hut that sells treats for the monkeys. For ¥100, you can buy dried apples, sweet potatoes or peanuts. It’s a nice change of pace to realize that you are the one in the cage, while the wild monkeys climb the fenced windows, reaching their small hands through to grab snacks. Keep a lookout for babies still clinging to their mothers.

What famous shrine is this?

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, Japan
The hut also sells postcards and other small souvenirs to remember your time with the monkeys.

After you are done feeding them, walk outside and take in the spectacular view of Kyoto from the mountain summit. There are benches to sit and relax, while the wild monkeys run free around you.

monkey kyoto

Photo by: Victoria Vlisides You can get pretty close.

Before you go

The best times to visit are spring and fall when the weather isn’t too hot or cold. However, the park is sometimes closed early due to extreme heat. The path winds through the woods, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Also, heed the warnings along the path. Don’t stare the monkeys in the eye and do not feed them until you are safely inside.

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Trivia

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Follow the path to riches through 10,000 vermillion torii gates.

More

Things To Know

Hours

The park is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but from November through March it closes at 4:30 p.m.

Fees

Admision is ¥550.

How To Get There

Address

61 Arashiyama Nakaoshitachō, Nishikyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 616-0004, Japan

By train

Take the Hankyu line to Arashiyama station, the JR line to Saga-Arashiyama station or take the bus and get off at Arashiyama Koen (Park).

The entrance is a bit off the beaten path, so you’ll have a to walk a bit to get to it.

Where To Stay

Hanaikada
  • Nishikyo-ku Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho 57 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 616-0004
  • 8.6/10
  • 0.0 km
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Musubi-an Arashiyama Guest House
  • Saikyo-ku Arashiyama Nakaoshita cho 51 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 616-0004
  • 7.1/10
  • 0.1 km
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Japaning Hotel Liv Ranrokaku
  • Nishikyo-ku Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho 54-2 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 616-0004
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.1 km
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Hotel Arashiyama
  • Nishikyo-ku Arashiyama Kamikawaracho 1-3 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 616-0001
  • 8.3/10
  • 0.2 km
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