One of the highlights of my Japan trip was definitely the visit to Yamanouchi. A small town located in Shimotakai District in the Nagano Prefecture, well known for the hot springs and the snow monkey park. One of the amazing hospitality traits of the “ryokan” I stayed at is that they offered a free lift to the start of the trail which leads you to this park. Of course, there was no snow as I went in August. This meant I couldn’t capture the iconic photos of the monkeys bathing in the hot springs surrounded by snow. Nonetheless, this also meant that the monkeys were roaming around as they didn’t need to stay in the hot water because of the cold and the presence of people in the park was very low. These 2 factors meant I was able to get very close to these fascinating primates and snap some extraordinary shots. I used my Sony A7iii with a Sony G Master f2.8 16-35mm for all of the shots. Yes, you read that right, a wide angle zoom for wildlife photography. Despite only having this gear with me in Japan, the fact that I could get as close as I wanted to the monkeys made the results unique, although some of them were not very pleased like this fella below.
Scary, right? Well it turns out this is quite normal. These animals are very used to the presence of humans all year round, so if you get too close and they are not happy they will simply threaten you but will not attack you physically.
Thanks for reading and please enjoy the rest of the photos.