Which way to the Takasakiyama Monkey Park?
“Why, it’s this way!” says the cute monkey statue on the handrails. Thank you, kind sir!
The Takasakiyama Monkey Park in Beppu is a must visit if you are in the area. From JR Beppu Station, hop onto a bus heading to Tasakiyama and it’s across from the aquarium. It’s about a 10-minute bus ride. You’ll know you are near when you see this sign:
I had a lovely chat with my students about signs in Japan. Signs are always in Japanese, but they are accompanied by simple pictures to help children who can’t read yet, or foreigners like us. But the pictures are sometimes too cute and friendly, and it’s a bit hard to figure out what they actually say. My first take on the rules of the monkey park were these:
- No touching the monkeys
- No eye contact with the monkeys
- No chasing after monkeys while smiling and saying KYAAAAA
- No waving tissues at angry monkeys
- No poking monkeys in the face even if they are cute and smiling
I was kinda wrong though.
Anyway, the most important are the no-touching and no-eye-contact rules. The monkeys are generally pretty tame and used to the human presence on the mountain, but they will get a bit aggressive if you bother them or look them straight in the eyes. The monkeys are everywhere, even at the restrooms, and they are always causing mischief.
This one went pee.