iReport: Travel photo of the day -- cute monkeys 'in a hot tub'
Two years ago, we wrote about the hot-spring-loving monkeys in Jigokudani's Monkey Park, a snow mountain in Nagano.
It inspired Rachel Geesa, an art teacher in Seoul from Indiana, United States, to venture on a trip to the area just “to see some monkeys sitting in hot tubs.”
She submitted an iReport for the assignment Travel photo of the day. Here is how she recalls the adventure.
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“I viewed an article on CNN, it inspired me to gather a group of friends and go on an adventurous weekend trip," writes Geesa.
"I was grateful to have travel companions who were also willing to fly from Seoul to Tokyo, take a train to Nagano, and then a bus to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen -- all just to see some monkeys sitting in hot tubs."
"The scene was stunning. From the bus stop, you have to walk on a trail for about 45 minutes through snow-filled mountains.
"The trees are capped with snow.
"The monkeys are quiet and calm.
"You can hear the peaceful flow of water from the springs.
"I believe I saw at least 150-200 snow monkeys at the park. About 30 monkeys were in the hot springs at one time.
"Although there were a lot of tourists, not many of them were getting up close and personal with the monkeys.
"I was patient and watched the monkeys for several minutes before moving closer. They seemed to be in their own worlds and the people did not bother them.
"When I took this photograph, a group of monkeys gathered around each other, next to where I was standing with my camera in hand.
"I carefully snapped a few photos while the monkeys relaxed."
More on CNN: World's 20 cutest animals -- and where to find them