After a long journey by train from Tokyo and many changes, I finally arrive in the heart of the Jigokudani Yaen National Park (“valley of hell”). One goal: observe Japanese macaques bathing! In my head, photographs and reports seen on television of these magnificent animals basking in an onsen in snow breathtaking sceneries (Japanese hot spring). Each year, I found a reason for not having the time to go. This Saturday, I got up and said to myself: “now or never” and I left for the station. Without preparation just the name of the station of destination. After a long walk in the forest, I arrived at the valley: one small problem the snow is gone. It’s true, we are already at the end of March. The snow has melted and the mountain is just emerging from its winter numbness and the lack of vegetation gives a greyish tint to the valley. After a moment of disappointment, I head towards the onsen. The monkeys are there. They are very quiet and close their eyes while enjoying the hot water. A fascinating experience in contact with exceptional animals!