While you are in Japan, why not visit the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden, a monkey park ~tour #100~

高崎山さる oita


When you have an opportunity to visit Beppu Onsen in Oita prefecture in Kyushu area, go a little further and visit the monkey paradise. The Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden is full of wild monkeys. They have been feeding monkeys in nature for 70 years. It is a place where the monkeys who live on the mountain can come to play and be fed.

Take a bus from Oita City. From the bus stop, take the Sarukko Rail (monorail) to the monkey feeding area on Mt. Takasaki.


Monkeys live in the mountains, so they are very capricious. If the food in the mountains is abundant, they will not come down from the mountains. Even if tourists are waiting, there are times when there is not a single monkey.

When I arrived, there were no monkeys. According to the guide, not a single monkey actually came down yesterday. Not today again! Monkeys, please come down.

Here they come!

At the feeding ground, I chatted with the guide for a while waiting for monkeys to come down. A large number of monkeys came down from the mountain at once. At the feeding grounds, there are hundreds of monkeys.


How about a wild monkey right next to you?

The monkeys come to the tourists in a natural state. At first, it’s a little scary. You can see every generation of monkeys up close, large male monkeys, cute baby monkeys, and mothers with babies on board. Monkeys have a high ability to go around so as not to bump into people.


Feeding time

When the monkeys are ready, it’s time to feed them. A rear car full of sweet potatoes appeared. The monkeys are delighted. The bottom of the rear car is opened at once, and the sweet potatoes are dropped into the feeding area, while the feederman runs through the feeding area.

Feeding time is over in an instant. The monkeys hold the sweet potato in their hands and place it in their cheeks to secure food. A lively party moment.


Monkey society

The Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden was opened in 1952 as an attempt to prevent monkey damage for farms around Mt. Takasaki and develop a new tourist attraction spot. After they started feeding sweet potatoes, monkeys began to come to the feeding place regularly.

When the park first opened, there was only one herd (Group A) and the number of monkeys were 220. Currently, there are about 1,000 monkeys. Group A splits to form Group B, and then splits again to form Group C. Surprisingly, Group A has not been seen for more than 20 years. They don’t come down from the mountain.

The guide shared us some of the in-depth monkey society stories and introduced in the explanatory panels of the museum. Please take your time and enjoy the history of the park and monkey society episodes.


70 Years of Dedication to Monkeys

I hope that the monkeys and humans of Mt. Takasaki will continue to coexist and save this environment as it is. A poster in the waiting room of Sarukko Rail titled ” 70 Years of Dedication to Monkeys”. Why don’t they make a T-shirt?


I got a fan from the park. The front side is a baby monkey, and the back side is a memorable monkeys selected by the guide. Mt. Takasaki is full of fun projects.

You will have a fun time just watching the monkeys at the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden.

Stay tuned for more updates of Japan. See you soon!

the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden: Kanzaki 3098-1, Oita-city, Oita prefecture