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Takasaki Mountain Monkey Park
Price: 510 yen
I went to a monkey (macaque) park.
After parking my bike near the aquarium, I walked over the road on the pedestrian bridge to the mountain side of the street. I walked up the hill a little to the entrance of the park. (it's possible to take a little train up the hill for 100 yen, but only takes about five minutes to walk.)
Since 1952, the nature park has been a place for guests to be surrounded by monkeys, mostly indifferent to the fact that humans are around. It was kinda cool and I got there in time to witness the intense yam snatching time. A couple times a day, all the monkeys are fed, although every hour there are smaller feeding times. There's two big clans of around 700-800 monkeys each. The groups show up separately to eat at the zoo area after scavenging in the mountains all day. The park feeding monkeys was in response to the monkeys stealing from farms in the area, so I'm not sure how used they are to being fed as opposed to finding food naturally. The monkeys waited patiently... then the staff ran through with a wheelbarrow spilling a path of yams. The monkeys went for it, grabbing all they could hold.
The staff had everyone stand with their legs apart and feet touching each others to make a line. One of the guides told me if a monkey runs through your legs, it means you'll be lucky with money. (I guess one staff won the lottery and a guest won at horse racing after that happened.) A monkey ran through my legs twice! Hope I'm lucky with money soon, haha.
Parking is across highway 10 at Umitamago Suizokukan, or Sea Egg Aquarium. Train access is about 2km away. Bus AS70, AS71, AS60 or AS61 from Beppu station (towards Oita Station) 410 yen one way. Entrance fee is 510 yen per person, discounted transportation and Aquarium package tickets are available through Oita Kotsu as well as discount coupons for just the monkey park, sometimes found in visitor centers.
Open 8:30-17:00 every day