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No monkeying around, it's time for a bath in Hokkaido

HAKODATE -- At the Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden located in the Hakodate Yunokawa Hot Spring district in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture, it's annual hot spring bathing season for the 64 Japanese macaques that are being reared here.

    The 18 square meter bath is filled with water from the source of the Yunokawa Hot Spring, whose water temperature is reduced from its natural 65 degrees Celsius or so to about 40 degrees. The sight of the macaques relaxing in the tub is delighting visitors to the botanical garden, with one saying, "They look so comfortable."

    Japanese macaques fall asleep while soaking in a hot spring at the Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hokkaido city of Hakodate. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

    Head of the facility, Kayoko Kasai, said, "I hope that visitors enjoy and are soothed by the various expressions of the monkeys."

    The bathing period will continue through May 5, 2021.

    (Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido Photo Group)

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