Takasakiyama is a monkey reserve home to wild Macaque Monkeys. What I liked about this park was the monkeys (roughly 1500) although are fed are not enclosed and free to come and go as they wish. We arrived at 8am half hour before gates and parking opened, we pulled over to one side which ended up becoming problematic for the parking peeps and maybe a bit lost in translation, my advice - arrive after 8:30am if you're in a car :p Parking was 410 yen and admission 510 yen (100 yen extra for the monorail). The monorail is definitely unnecessary as the path up to the top where the monkeys hang out is a relative short, although steep. We ended up taking the monorail up and walking down because we wanted to enjoy the scenery :)
A funny thing that happened was once we paid for parking and walked into the park, the gentlemen at the gate (after us failing to understand his Japanese) handed us a laminated sign in English. The English read that there were no monkeys at the park yet and because they are wild they couldn't guarantee any. We were slightly bummed but settled on returning to our car and getting on with the day. As we were about to leave we saw a family in front buy their tickets and since we had already paid for parking we had a quick rethink and decided to take a chance. To me, this is a perfect slice of Japanese life. I find the Japanese culture so polite and committed to rules that although I'm sure, the chances of monkeys not showing up for food were slim to none the park was still prepared to send guests away, just in case. A second after buying our tickets the gentlemen got walkie talkie word from the top that the monkeys had arrived - hurray! I also have a sneaky suspicion that if we had turned away and gone back to our car, they probably would have chased us down to let us know :)
One of the ladies working at top, was so sweet and engaged lots, with us, in English. She told us there was 1 year olds and 0 year old babies!!
The park has two monkey mountain mascots, Takamon and Takamono - I was excited to see stamps at the front gate to add to my collection!
The rules: no food or snacks into the park, no loud noises, don't touch or tease the monkeys and don't look directly into their eyes!
I read online that main feedings only happen twice a day but the two feedings we saw (every 30 minutes) seemed fun and chaotic enough :)
Apparently if a monkey runs through your legs you can expect good fortune! I totally took advantage at feeding time and stood in a prime position with a success of four monkeys running through my legs!! There are also a few statues around the park which if you touch, provide good luck - unfortunately we forgot to do that - oops!
Something curious we observed were the monkey's rock fascination - some would collect them and gather them and others would bang them together.
Mumma and baby!!