In Japan, autumn is known by two traditional titles: minori no aki (実りの秋 or “fruit-bearing autumn”) and, more familiarly, shokuyoku no aki (食欲の秋 or “appetite-inducing autumn”). As is often the case, one thing has led to another with autumn edibles making the sight of snacking monkeys a munch more common one.
And if you’ve ever wondered what Kamikochi’s macaque population like to eat when the gotta-gobbles strike, the answer is pretty much whatever they can get their paws on (including that artisanal chicken wrap with pesto that you lugged all the way from Takayama Station in the hopes of a posh bit of nosh under the cedar leaves but left unattended for a moment as you fished around for your phone).
In reality, the macaques subsist mostly by foraging and will eat berries, fungus, and whatever else is to their taste. The photo at the top of the page shows a monkey with his gob wrapped around some mushrooms, as does the photo below.
Being intelligent and fastidious creatures, macaques will always nibble at a mushroom to test for any hint of poison in the flavor before properly tucking in.
Not content with denuding the forest of fungus, macaques also go in search of six-legged prey, like the luckless grasshopper caught in midair by this little one:
Ouch! Better luck in your next life, little guy.
Young moneys like the one pictured above are said to be more interested in snagging insects and other high protein foods than their adult counterparts.
You can see monkeys of various shapes and sizes all around central Kamikochi, but don’t get too close. For a slap up review of the dos and don’ts of monkey viewing, please consult this article from a few months back.
We would be remiss if we failed to mention the Five Sense Kamikochi blogger, Momo, who posted the wonderful pictures used in today’s post. Keep up the good work. We are always in your debt.
Check back with us in a few days for our end of week blog and hopefully some updates on the unfolding autumn season. Till then, have a great week!
Source of Information and Images:
Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/