The Monkey center is located on the east site of Kashiwara Mountain in Sumoto city on Awaji Island. It was first open in 1967 and at the present time there are around 350 monkeys. Awaji Island monkeys are gentle and very sociable giving you the chance to walk among the troop without the monkeys jumping all over you and trying to steal you possessions.
Viewing time of the monkey center takes round 60 minutes. Please remember to leave snacks and food items in you car and please understand these are wild Japanese monkeys they can not be petted or picked up in anyway.
January - From around 9 am monkeys will descend from the mountain to the feeding ground and will stay there until 5 pm. On cold and windy days, there is an excellent chance to see the troop grouped for warmth.
AM 6:21 - AM 7:08
AM 9:20 - AM 10:07
PM 12:30 - PM 1:17
PM 4:55 - PM 5:42
AM 7:17 - AM 8:04
AM 10:59 - AM 11:39
PM 2:00 - PM 2:42
PM 6:27 - PM 7:14
Adult : 700 yen (11 and above)
Child : 350 yen (7 -11)
Closed on Thursdays
In the photo below food has been laid out to form the Japanese charaters さる Saru which is Japanese for Monkey.
During the winter months the Awaji Monkeys group together for warmth to form a Sarudango (lit. Saru Dumpling), only on rare occasions do small fights occur.
Six Monkeys grooming one monkey and sometimes seven monkeys grooming one monkey which surely must be a world record.
Inside an eight metre circle three kilograms of food is placed and we then count the number of monkeys in the circle at same time and the number of fights occurred. Other monkey centers in Japan achieve around twenty monkeys whereas at the Awaji monkey center we can achieve around 160 monkeys in the circle which demonstrates the soft and caring nature of the Awaji Monkeys
No you are not looking at twins your are looking at Mother caring for an infant monkey whose mother had past away, This is a rare occurrence in Japanese monkeys but common place in the Awaji Monkey Center.
It is common place for Awaji monkeys to gather their food in the palm of their hand a most unusual behavior in a monkey society where food is commonly stolen each other.
For three days the mother carried, groomed and cared for her dead 18 month old infant.