Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 95: Hello everyone! As many of you know, we spent our recent Lunar New Year vacation in Japan. Ever since I (Shayna) heard about these Japanese snow monkeys a few years ago, I had my heart set of visiting them. Thankfully for me, Brandon was excited about a trip based around seeing monkeys and off we went. We spent our first two days sightseeing and people watching in Tokyo which we'll show you soon- but we thought we'd start with these pictures since they're some of our favorites.

We stayed at a small Japanese style hostel named Shimaya hotel that was run by the cutest and most generous couple ever (pictured above) . They drove us to and from the monkeys, as well as anywhere else we wanted to go, no questions asked. Once at the park, we actually had to hike through the Japanese alps (on a pretty small, icy trail) for 40 minutes to get to the location but, as you can see it was well worth it...

The temperature in the mountains can drop as low as -40, and to survive the harsh climate the monkeys spend their days bathing and relaxing in the natural hot springs in the area known as Hell's Valley.

Being in such close proximity to these monkeys was truly amazing. Watching them play, eat and interact with each other with no real concern for the strange people pointing cameras in their faces was unreal. Being that close to hundreds of monkeys is an experience that will stay with us for a lifetime.

We'll be back with a new post as soon as we can. We have tons of photos from Tokyo that we're excited to share with you.

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon xo