Oh she's only gone and written it down......monkey news!
Nagano is the hub of the Japanese Alps but the reason we stayed for a day here was not for the slopes but for the little red faced monkeys.
The walk to the hot springs sounded a lot worse than it was. It was an enjoyable stroll through a forest on a well-trodden, albeit a slightly slippery path. Seeing the animals for the first time was not disappointing. We could've watched these hilarious little creatures for hours. They were fighting, pushing and shoving their 20 inch…….camera lenses in each other's way. Oh and the monkeys were good too! Only kidding, we actually timed it well as the tourist groups were just leaving having taken their 1000th picture just as us latecomers arrived. The hot tub loving monkeys were so amusing almost paralysed with enjoyment at bathing in the heated pools. Those that didn't make it into the Onsen itself enjoyed the heated pipework and one little rascal liked to jump onto my leg; no problems I have had my rabies jab!
We thought an hour would be plenty of time so it was lucky there was a later bus as we stayed for two hours without even noticing where the time had gone. The bus back was amusing as we were listening in to a Dutch man trying to explain to a Japanese guy that he was here to watch the speed skating. The Japanese guy didn't understand a word of English!
Our last bullet train go us into Tokyo right on time, such an amazing railway system and the with a JR pass, it is worth every penny.