Video: Kyoto's Monkey Park

The Arashiyama district in western Kyoto is famous for its outdoor activities, most notably the giant timber bamboo grove and the Katsura riverfront. For travelers looking for a different sort of wildlife experience, I would recommend the Iwatayama Monkey Park.

Macaque monkeys relaxing at Iwatayama Monkey Park - Joshua Hawley / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The park is located a steep 15-minute hike up Mount Arashiyama, so take care if you have small children or health issues. However, once you make it to the top, you will be rewarded with impressive panoramic views of Kyoto and troupes of free-roaming macaque monkeys. This isn't your typical zoo, as humans are the ones who have to step inside cages if they would like to feed the monkeys by hand. If you’re not inclined to be caged, you can sit and admire the city view with a few gregarious monkeys.

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