Arashiyama Monkey Park in western Kyoto is better than any zoo because the animals are entirely free. In fact, we human visitors have to stay on our toes and not invite aggression from the monkeys. Visitors are sternly warned not to look the monkeys in the eye as it is seen as a challenge, and can cause monkeys to attack. The monkeys get into frequent tussles with each other.
I really felt as though I was transported into another world, surrounded by monkeys who were unfazed by human presence. Because they are not caged, they scamper around freely getting into whatever antics they want, unlike the decidedly depressed-looking animals at zoos.
In a quieter, less visited area of the park, I delighted in observing a baby monkey who was alternatively discovering the world, how to walk and climb, and clinging to its parent.
In addition to its delightful primate inhabitants, the park also boasted beautiful views of Kyoto.
This monkey was quite possessive of the viewfinder, and chased other monkeys away from it until a park ranger shooed it off.
I had so much fun recording this little one's capering about.