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“Must Go, Must See When In Kyoto” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Monkey Park Iwatayama

Monkey Park Iwatayama
8 Genrokuyamacho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0022, Kyoto Prefecture
+81 75-872-0950
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Ranked #11 of 539 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Los Angeles, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Must Go, Must See When In Kyoto”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

The monkey park was one of the highlights of our trip to Kyoto and Japan. The hike is about 20-25 minutes depending on the pace, but it's manageable. And unlike most hikes, this was one of the few that is worth it. There are a bunch of monkeys at the park, and the views are amazing. This is a good chance to use up the Japanese coins you've accumulated because you can buy diced apples and peanuts to feed the monkeys, which was a fun experience. There are attendants at the top, so it's safe and pretty well organized. From the JR station, exit the Sagaarashiyama station and it's about a 20 minute walk to the entrance of the hike up to the monkey park. Go in the morning, when it's not hot so you won't sweat during the hike, and then afterwards you can walk around Arashiyama.

Visited February 2014
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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Awesome day of hiking and monkey mischief!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

The monkey park is a short train ride and is very easy to get to from any of the main Kyoto train stations. If you get a little lost the locals will point you in the right direction.

To get to the park you have to hike a fair way up the mountain, but take it slow and enjoy it. Keep your eyes peeled as you see lots of monkeys silently relaxing in trees.

Once you reach the summit you are surrounded by more monkeys than you can count and an awesome view of Kyoto.

My best tip would be to go to the second lookout above the 'rest hut' as the view is much wider and you have an opportunity to take so many amazing photos without staff shadowing your back. Overall it's a cheap activity and highly recommended. You can't help but smile on the way back, must be the fresh mountain air.

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Lots of fun, our favourite experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

We absolutely loved the monkey park, it was so different to all the temples and other attractions, it really made us laugh. Don't look them in the eye! (We found out the hard way despite the warnings!)

The walk is not too bad, worth it for the view as well as the monkeys. They are so cute! Once you reach the top, you enter a building, and the monkeys run around outside while you feed them from the inside! So good for animal lovers and those who don't like animals being caged. They are wild and its really interesting to see them interacting with each other!

Had so much fun, so glad we went! Something interesting, fun and different! And so cute!

Visited February 2014
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Unique experience...but worth it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

It is a little bit of a hike from the entrance to the park to where to see the monkeys, and parts of the path are quite steep which I was not expecting. My husband loved this experience, I was a bit scared the whole time. You can buy nuts to feed to them through windows, which I saw a lot of children doing. Greg there at the right time and you can see the staff do a mass feeding!

Visited January 2014
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A "Monkey Safari" in Japan!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

The monkey park entrance took us a while to find. Google maps did us no favors when they told us to go left after the bridge instead of right. Once you figure this out, it's only a few steps after the bridge along the water to the clearly marked entrance (with monkey cartoons). The cost is 550 per person and 100 per bags of food to feed the monkeys (so worth it!!)

The walk is not as bad as people say: there are some flights of stairs right after you gain admittance, followed by some winding steep-ish trails that have rails or rope. If you walk at a leisurely pace, reading the information about monkeys as you go up, it's not bad at all! Despite the warning signs (which I am sure are put there for good reason), the monkeys are very friendly, neither fear not love people, and pretty much just ignore you unless you are feeding them. Also, the monkeys are a lot smaller than I envisioned them being... About the size of a small dog.

At the top, you will spend an hour or two getting the perfect pictures of the very friendly, very close, free-roaming monkeys. The park is basically a house for feeding, the park itself which is the flat part of the hill, and then one more hill level up with a small grass area. It's so amazing how "National Geographic" everything is! The view of Kyoto is also amazing. Use the Kyoto tower in the distance as a marker for your reference.

The staff at the Park are helpful and feed the monkeys seeds to call them over to the main park area... They also clean up after the monkeys (aka poop scooping) and are there to observe the monkeys and answer questions. The people there are a mix of international tourists and locals.

Once in the house, you can feed the monkeys (you have a choice between apple pieces, cheeee pieces and peanuts at 100 yen a bag) through the mesh. It's best to do this open palm since some of the monkeys are afraid of having their food stolen by other monkeys so they tend to snatch things, which can lead to a "scratching" sensation on your hand. Most of the monkeys are very gentle and it's fun to see them react to you and each other. They're very emotive and are clearly intelligent.

What to do after: Arashiyama is an adorable area with a lot of character! Within walking distance are several picturesque shrines, a beautiful waking path lined with tall bamboo forest, and several cute shops with themes (such as all chopsticks). I've also been told that in the summer, a boat runs on the river nearby.

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