Huddle together to keep warm! The heartwarming “Monkey Dango”
Winter, get close to wildlife
Choshikei Nature Park
Choshikei on Shodoshima Island in Kagawa Prefecture is a scenic spot that is representative of the island. It also has the Monkey Land that is inhabited by a group of wild Japanese macaques. The monkeys entertain visitors through the four seasons with plenty of charming behavior. One sight to see is the “saru dango” or “monkey dumpling” during the winter. This refers to when around 10 or so monkeys huddle together in a group that looks like a dumpling in order to endure the cold.
Choshikei Nature Park Monkey Land
Around 500 monkeys live in the Choshikei region. Monkey Land is a natural zoo created as a place for the wild monkeys to live, and has a parking lot, lavatories and walkways. There is a covered sleeping area for the monkeys, and a place where visitors can safely feed from indoors the monkeys who are outdoors.
Does the Saru Dango put aside rank?
During winter, you can see in various places around the park the saru dango huddling close together down to their feet. The monkeys who live in the Choshikei region are divided into two, with Group A and Group B each ruled by their own boss. Usually there is an absolute ranking within the group, but when the saru dango huddles together you encounter scenes where the younger monkeys step on the boss, maybe because rank has been put aside.
Olive-fed Wagyu beef
Sanuki cattle are raised in the temperate climate of Setouchi, and they are fed pressed olives, the olive tree being the official tree of Kagawa Prefecture. You should try these steaks if you want to enjoy the juicy meat of the Olive-fed Wagyu beef.
On Shodoshima, a walkable sandbar appears twice a day for the couple of hours around low tide. When the tide ebbs, an elongated sandbar at the bottom of the sea is exposed, and you can walk to the small island floating on the water.
|Location/Access||Shodoshima: Shozu-gun, Kagawa Prefecture
About a 10-minute walk from Takamatsu Airport to Takamatsu Port. From Takamatsu Port, 30 to 45 minutes by high-speed boat (Tonosho Port, Ikeda Port, Kusakabe Port and Sakate Port).
|Opening hours||Monkey Land
8:10 – 17:00 (last entry is 16:30)
|Inquiries||Shodoshima Choshikei Monkey Land
Tonosho Commerce & Tourism Department
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