Japan - Robert Downie
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Japanese Macaque

A shot of a Japanese Macaque or Snow Monkey that was engaging in some serious eye contact with my camera. It was taken at the hot springs (or onsen) that feeds into the valley of the Yokoyu-River at Jigokudani Yaen Koen. Literally meaning "Hell's Valley", Jigokudani was named after the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground which is surrounded by steep cliffs. The valley sits at an elevation of 850 meters. Other than humans the Macaque is the primate that lives in the coldest climate and survives in winter temperatures down to -15 °C. In japan the species is known as Nihonzaru. In Shinto belief, mythical beasts known as raijū sometimes appeared as monkeys and kept Raijin, the god of lightning, company. The "three wise monkeys", which warn people to "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil", are carved in relief over the door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō. Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

JapaneseJigokudani yaenkoenMacaqueNihonzaruYaen KōenYokoyu Riverbathcoldeyesfacefluffyfuryhot springsjapanmonkeyonsenportraitsnowsteamtub

From Nature