Snow Monkeys

After spending a few days in Tokyo, Khoa and I took the shinkansen over to Nagano to see the snow monkeys. Technically, they’re called “Japanese macaque,” but everyone knows what you’re talking about when you say “snow monkey.” Khoa had wanted to photograph them for a long time, so I’m glad that we were finally able to make it out to Nagano. Unfortunately, April had already come to melt most of the snow, but it was still really exciting to see the monkeys lounging in the onsen even without a background of white.

We went to the Jigokudani Monkey Park two days in a row. It was pouring rain the first day, so I did my best to hold our flimsy clear umbrella over Khoa (and his camera) as he excitedly took pictures. It didn’t do much good because Khoa was more focused on taking the best possible picture than staying dry. He kept moving out from under the umbrella to capture a shot as I frantically tried to catch up to keep him from getting soaked to the bone.

We were fortunate to wake up to sunny skies the next day. After hiking for about twenty minutes, we arrived at the Monkey Park and were greeted by very energetic monkeys. They seemed to perk up thanks to the nice weather.

The monkeys aren’t bothered by their human visitors at all and barely interact with them. I say “barely” because while Khoa was standing next to a trio of baby monkeys, one reached out and monkey slapped Khoa’s leg. I couldn’t stop laughing! Other than occasionally monkey slapping park patrons, the macaques seem happy to just lounge around or play amongst themselves, allowing photographers to get very close.

Khoa and I loved visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park and we hope to be able to go back again. Maybe Khoa’s monkey friend will remember him and give him a little slap for old times’ sake.

365 photos in 365 days: Photo #290

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posting photos for our blog. A month ago I was kind of getting burnt out on this daily photography project. One reason is that everything outside looked dead or brown. I probably should have tried my hand at other shooting techniques but the constantly cold weather and rain kept me inside and feeling uninspired. After going on vacation with Michelle and shooting a lot over the past week, I am feeling reenergized and ready to take on my daily photo project once again. Instead of cheating and posting a bunch of hastily taken photos to make up for the past four weeks, I’ve decided to push back the end date of my photo project to June 17, 2013.

So with out further delay here is Photo #290!

Location: Chibu-mura, Shimane-ken, JAPAN
Location: Chibu-mura, Shimane-ken, JAPAN

Sakura Showers

Last week, Khoa and I took a trip to Tokyo. I was determined to see some sakura, so even though it was raining, we negotiated the puddle-filled streets to visit Shinjuku Gyoen.

I’d like to be able to take credit for these shots, but this is all Khoa. But I was the official umbrella holder while he was shooting, so maybe I get +1.