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Visiting Iwatayama Monkey Park & Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Iwatayama Monkey Park

If you’re not a fan of monkeys, this is not the post for you! And just a warning: this post isn’t going to have many words, but there are certainly a lot of funny monkey photos! (I also have a few photos from the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove if you get tired of the monkeys.)

Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, and it is where the bamboo grove and monkeys are. The monkey park is called Iwatayama Monkey Park, and is where about 170 Japanese macaques (a.k.a. snow monkeys) live. They’re wild monkeys, but they have regular feeding times at the park and you can purchase snacks to feed them as well. If you’re visiting the monkey park, be prepared to walk up the side of Mt. Arashiyama for about 20-30 minutes! I was not prepared for this, haha. But the views were awesome! (And you do have to pay to walk up to the park…I think it was about 500 yen a person.)

Mt Arashiyama view

One of the monkeys recently had a baby too, it was cutest little guy ever! They were so fun to watch!

snow monkey

baby snow monkey

One of the monkeys also was quite the trouble maker. He would jump into this little pond, and then he would try to pull all of his friends into the water. Haha. I could’ve watched these goofballs for hours! (Well, actually, I did.. come to think of it, haha.)

snow monkey jumping in the water
And he’s off!
snow monkey jumping in the water
That is the look of serious determination! He is going to make this the best cannon ball ever!
snow monkey jumping in the water
snow monkey jumping in the water
The water’s fun! Here, let me pull you in!

There was also lots of bug picking going on! Haha.

snow monkeys picking bugs

snow monkeys picking bugs

And while you are not allowed to touch the monkeys. Every once in a while, they would try to touch you, haha. And you couldn’t show them any food, as they would try to steal it then!

snow monkeys
My husband saying “Hi” to the monkeys. Haha.

I’ll show a few more photos off from the monkey park before I show some of the bamboo grove photos. You can click here for more information on Iwatayama Monkey Park, and just click on the photos below to make them full-sized.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was about a 15-20 minute walk from the mountain where the monkeys are. The bamboo grove itself was gorgeous! However, we were there on a weekday…in summer (not high tourist season by any means)…and holy smokes were there a lot of people! It was almost impossible to get a good photo of the paths going through the bamboo…as the swarms of people just didn’t allow it. But I do have a couple photos to share! 🙂

Arashiyama bamboo grove

I did manage to get a photo of my husband when there was no one else in the shot! Yippee!

bamboo grove

And we waited for a gated area off to the side of the trail to take a photo of me.

ModCloth Stylish Surprise Dress

We also visited Tenryu-ji Temple, inside the bamboo grove. It was beautiful! And not quite as crowded as the roads going through the grove. The photo below is from the inside of the grounds of the temple.

Inside Tenryu-ji Temple

I’ll end this post with just a few more photos of Arashiyama. You can click here for more information about the area.

So, who else enjoys monkeys and bamboo? Haha. And what was your favorite photo out of the bunch? Let me know in the comments!

Click here to see my outfit post from the monkey park and bamboo grove.

Visiting Iwatayama Monkey Park & Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto
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  1. Delaine Dcosta says:

    Your photos of Arashiyama are amazing! What time did you visit? I could hardly get a picture of myself all alone like that. Too many photobombers there! & Fushimi Inari too! :/

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much, Delaine! We went about a month ago. There were still a ton of people…we had to walk a ways to get a few shots without anyone in them. Also, with it being super hot in the summer, it’s not necessarily high tourist season. But still SO many people – wow. Same with Fushimi Inari..we had to walk a ways, and quick snap a few when we had the chance. 🙂

  2. Amanda Brezovsky says:

    Oh my goodness, those mokey’s are the cutest!! Especially the mother and baby. My heart just melts. The bambo is really cool too. I love looking up at the vertical lines.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha, aren’t they adorable? I’m so happy you liked the photos, Amanda! Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. The little monkey is sooo cute! Lovely post!! Haha
    The canon ball monkey had me laughing.
    Much love,

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Mona! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos! Much love to you too! 🙂

  4. Laurie Duncan says:

    I love those cute monkeys, and I don’t blame them for wanting to swim in that hot weather! And I’ve never seen a bamboo forest before, so that was really beautiful! 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aren’t they adorable? I don’t blame them either! Haha. I wanted to jump in too! That was my first time seeing a bamboo forest too! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Laurie! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  5. Bryony Angell says:

    I adore monkeys but have heard those macques can be aggressive. Your shots of them are wonderful–esp. that one jumping into the water series! Also totally understand the need for a solitary bamboo photo. That place would be blissful if you were the only visitor, how beautiful it is! Love your photos and the humor in your comments.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I have heard that too…but for the most part, these guys were pretty well-behaved while we were around them. Haha, glad you enjoyed those photos! 🙂 I can’t imagine how much more incredible the bamboo forest would’ve been if we were alone! 🙂 But it was still pretty awesome. And thank you so much – I’m so happy you enjoyed them! 🙂

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