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Famous throughout Japan, Takasakiyama for is a reserve for wild Japanese macaques. The dominant monkey’s personalities and the dynamics of the troops they lead make national news. So, not surprisingly, it is one of Oita’s most popular destinations that is especially busy during holidays and on the weekend. Any visit here can be made in tandem with its neighbour, the Oita Marine Palace Umitamago.
In order to resolve the problem of conflict with local farmers and residents, and also create a tourist attraction, Takasakiyama was established in 1952 as a safe haven for the macaques. Since then they have been fed regularly by the park’s wardens in order to keep them from roaming far and wide into neighbouring fields and residential districts in Oita City and Beppu.
The Park, which is close to the base of Mt. Takasaki-yama and across the road from its twin attraction, the Umitamago Aquarium, is home to over 1,500 macaques. They are divided into two separate troops of approximately 700 to 800 individuals each, that roam freely around its steep, forested slopes. The troops take turns, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to come down the mountain to the Park, where they scramble for the food left by the wardens, or otherwise spend their time playing and resting. Please note, however, that although the macaques appear mostly oblivious to their human visitors and tame, they are wild and should never be touched nor fed, and eye contact is to be avoided.