I have had such a backlog of photos to post from a variety of destinations that it has taken me a couple of months to get round to publishing my final images of Sydney, Australia. Australia’s largest city has a buzz and beauty that is hard to match. I am always excited to visit this splendid metropolis.
Hakuba Skiing, Japan
Hakuba is a small town in Nagano Prefecture of Japan which is renowned for its skiing. The Hakuba Valley comprises of ten ski resorts and provides visitors with greater skiing acreage and overall vertical rise than anywhere in Japan. Bountiful snow falls and outstanding powder conditions bring ever growing numbers of skiers and snowboarders from around the globe to Hakuba. For me, the excellent snow conditions are part of the reason I once again headed to Hakuba for my biennial ski trip. There is also the wonderful friendliness, efficiency and politeness of the local people. Finally, I was desperate to revisit the snow monkey park at Jigokudani, Yamanouchi, Nagano.
Following my last visit to Japan I posted a number photos of skiing and the surrounding scenery. I have decided that on this occasion I will instead devote my post to the magical snow monkeys.
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
The Jigokudani Park is in the Shimotakai District of Nagano Prefecture and is home to Japanese Macaques monkeys. The monkeys is this area are unique in that they bathe in the parks hot springs during the winter months as a means of keeping themselves warm. The following are just a few of the photos I took of these amazing animals.
Japanese Snow Monkeys
Female Macaques are very protective of their young. They typically give birth every other year, producing one baby at a time and around ten in a life-time.
Japanese Macaque Snow Monkey
Wild macaques exist on three of Japan’s four main islands but the Jigokudani Snow Monkeys are the only troop that habitually bathe in thermal springs. The hot water of the springs does not play a role in the survival of the monkeys as their fur is sufficiently thick to keep them warm. Hence, it appears they bathe purely for pleasure purposes.
Snow Monkey Resting
Snow Monkey – Nagano Prefecture
Singapore is a city filled with outstanding architecture ranging from old colonial to modern and has influences from many different parts of the world. There is so much to capture when visiting the city. A fitting way to portray the beauty of its skyline is through a series of panoramas.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is prominently located and is visible from many vantage points around the city. It is situated on the west side of Marina Bay and has become a symbol of the architectural creativity, since its opening in 2010. To the left, the Art Science Museum, with flower shaped design, adds to the artistry of the scene.
National Gallery Singapore
The National Gallery was opened in late 2015. It houses world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art. The building was previously the Supreme Court and City Hall. It took a decade to refurbish. It is more than appropriate that one of this island nations most historic buildings should now become keeper of many national artistic treasures
Marina Bay North Shore
The view across the bay to Marina Bay North reveals a growing number of modern feats of creative engineering. These include the elaborately designed Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, The Float at Marina Bay and hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and Ritz Carlton. This area is also home to the Singapore Flyer which is currently ranked as the worlds largest observation wheel.
Singapore River – Asian Civilisations Museum View
Strolling along the Singapore River is an excellent way to spend a morning and to take in the many sites and to get a feel of the buzz of the city. Pausing close to the Fullerton Hotel and looking across the river towards North Bridge is rewarded with views of the Asian Civilisations Museum, the Supreme Court and the Parliament of Singapore.
Singapore River – Boat Quay View
Boat Quay is the area of water between North Bridge Road and Anderson Bridge. It is a popular night hotspot. This part of Singapore was an important commercial centre in the mid nineteenth century and, although businesses have moved elsewhere, it is now filled with bars and restaurants.
Singapore Wide Angle Panorama
Singapore is a small island measuring just 719 square kilometres and has a population of 5.8 million people. This means that space is at a premium and most construction is upwards rather outwards. The panorama below is just a portion of a skyline which is dominated by skyscrapers.