YAMANOUCHI, Nagano Prefecture--Like much of the country, the Jigokudani Yaen-Koen monkey park has been in the grip of a big freeze lately, but the chilly conditions are no problem for its "snow monkey" inhabitants.
The wild Japanese macaques keep warm by soaking and swimming in their very own "onsen" hot spring, a sight that draws in visitors from far and wide.
Over the past decade or so, an increasing number of foreign tourists have journeyed to the park to see the monkeys up close in their unique habitat, their fame growing with the help of social networking services.
Around 160 monkeys currently live in the park in the north of the prefecture. Mid-winter is prime time to watch them splash about in their outdoor bath, which they use more frequently in colder weather.