Not many places let you get up close to wild Japanese monkeys but this is one! Set at the base of Mount Takasaki, on the coastline between the cities of Beppu and Oita, Takasakiyama Monkey Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to meet Oita’s local simians. The mountain is home to some 1,200 Japanese macaques (commonly known as “snow monkeys”) that roam the slopes freely and regularly visit the educational park for feeding time. There are two troupes of monkeys; descending alternately from the mountain to grace the park with their presence in the morning or afternoon respectively.
One park highlight is feeding time, when you can expect a flurry of monkeys all vying for the food dished out by park wardens. Smaller feeding sessions happen every half-hour, but time your visit for the daily potato scrambles and their remarkable energy and appetites will leave you awestruck. Since its establishment in 1953, the park has kept its monkeys regularly fed, helping prevent the risk of them wandering into neighboring fields and eating farmers’ crops.
These furry inhabitants are generally curious and docile; allowing visitors to wander around freely as they scamper about, groom each other, and sunbathe. Just remember, you’re in their territory so give them space, and avoid feeding or staring at them in the eye.
The feeding ground is just six minutes’ walk from the park entrance, but you may enjoy catching the monkey-themed monorail – return trips cost 110 yen. The park also features a museum for anyone curious about the mountain’s history, and a monkey-themed photo booth for a fun, personalized memento.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Hours may differ during Golden Week and the Obon summer holidays.
Address: 3098-1 Kanzaki, Oita City, Oita Prefecture
Airport: Oita Airport
25 minutes by bus from JR Oita Station to Takasakiyama bus stop.
15 minutes by bus from JR Beppu Station to Takasakiyama bus stop.
50 minutes by bus from Oita Airport to Takasakiyama bus stop.
Adults 520 yen
Children (elementary to junior high age) 260 yen
Children under 6 years old are free.
A discount is available to groups of thirty or more.