You may not associate the word “tropical” with Japan’s northernmost main island. However, the Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden, a large pyramidal greenhouse in Hakodate City, is a veritable paradise of rare and wild flora indigenous to regions much further south. The garden is also famous for its unusual outdoor onsen (hot spring) and the furry primates that visit it during the long northern winter. From December to May, you can spot adorable monkeys taking a relaxing bath in the hot springs. The monkeys frequenting the 40-degree pools to stave off the bitter winter chill and frolicking on the attached monkey playground have become some of the primary highlights of Hakodate winters. You can find a footbath near the park to use freely and warm your body up too!
Hakodate Tropical Botanic Garden
3-1-15 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido