Iwatayama Monkey Park
Iwatayama Monkey Park (Japanese: 嵐山モンキーパーク, Arashiyama Monkī Pāku) is a commercial park located in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan. The park is on Mt Arashiyama, on the same side of the Oi River as the train station. It is inhabited by a troop of over 170 Japanese macaque monkeys. The animals are wild but can be fed food purchased at the site.
The nearest train station is Arashiyama, which is a private line; travelers using the JR pass will arrive at JR Saga Arashiyama which is a bit further away. The entrance to the park itself is to the right after crossing the second bridge.
After you have used the bilingual (Japanese/English) vending machine to buy your tickets you face a steep climb up the mountain. After walking up approx 150 steps, the trail forks. Walking up the left hand side is a steeper but faster set of switchbacks for your trip to the top, going to the right will bring you around the back towards the children's park before reaching the top on a shallower slope. Total hike time should take approximately 30 minutes.
Once you reach the top, the attendants show you into a hut with wire fence covering the windows, here you can buy drinks for yourself, and food to give to the monkeys. The choice of food for the monkeys ranges from bags of apple and banana slices, bags of biscuits, and bags of chestnuts and peanuts. As of April 2014, bags of food are sold for JPY 100.
At the top there are drinks available as well as Japanese-style toilets, and a children's playground.
There are three sets of viewing platforms to get a good view of the city below you.
Follow the advice from the guides, and trail markers. These monkeys are quite docile, but the males are perturbed with direct eye contact.