After visiting Matsumoto Castle, we stayed the night in tiny little Airbnb apartment in Matsumoto (decorated interestingly in a manga theme . . . ) and woke up that morning to fresh snow! It was perfect! We were heading to Nagano to see the snow monkeys and we were excited to be able to see the snow monkeys actually in the snow!
It ended up being a very cold and icy hike, but it was worth it! Seeing the snow monkeys in their natural habitat, scurrying all over the place--practically running over our feet and bumping up against us--was amazing!
The workers at the park feed the monkeys three times a day just to keep the monkeys in the area, and we arrived right as they were getting their morning meal, so right as we walked up, the monkeys came scurrying down the mountain in a big herd. It was crazy! And then to see them run around, splash in the river, and soak in the hot springs was so awesome.
William had his camera with him and was totally into the whole experience. It was almost more fun to watch Will getting excited and following the monkeys around to take pictures than it was to just watch the monkeys!
Overall, it was an unreal experience! And one for the books--we can check it off our bucket list now!
GPS Coordinates: 36.732827, 138.462134