Monkey’n Around in Beppu.
On our trip back to Beppu, we took a detour to visit Mt.Takasaki for a rare opportunity to observe Japan’s wild Macaque monkeys in their natural habitat!
At the base of Mt.Takasaki is Mt.Takasaki Monkey National Park. 1,200 monkeys live there, in two separate colonies. Since before WWII, the monkeys have raided nearby farms and damaged the crops. To prevent this, the late Mr. Ueda, former mayor of Oita City, succeeded in gathering the monkeys at the base of this mountain by scattering bait and blowing a conch (a kind of shell horn) in 1952.
Something to keep in mind: Mt.Takasaki is not a zoo. Instead, the monkeys (Japanese Macaque Macaca Fuscata) live and move about freely in natural groupings. Each group may consist of several hundred members. The whole of Mt. Takasaki is their habitat. As I mentioned, there are two separate colonies of monkeys on the mountain. Once a day, in order to eat, a colony will come to the base of Mt.Takasaki. (Along with observing these animals in the park, we also drove up the mountain looking for a glimpse of these monkeys in other areas, but did not have any luck).
As we walked around the park, surrounded by monkeys scurring about everywhere, there were just 4 rules we were to follow:
1. Don’t touch the animals.
2. Don’t make fun of the animals.
3. Don’t stare into the eyes of the animals.
4. Don’t show food to animals. Don’t feed animals.
Check out some pictures of our interactions with these beautiful animals in the outdoors!:
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Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!
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