Jigokudani is surrounded by precipitous cliffs, difficult to access. It has been known as a place of rich nature. Today, here is designated and preserved as part of the Joshinetsu-kogen national park and a game reserve.
In additions to creations introduced below, here is the habitat of various kinds of creations such as insects, fungi and algae.
Japanese serow|Capricornis crispus
Jigokudani has many wildlife as well as monkeys. We can observe Japanese serow throughout the year. Also we see Japanese squirrel on the natural trail. It is rare that we see fox, Japanese raccoon, badger, marten and Japanese mink, because they are nocturnal. Flying squirrel and Pteromys momonga are also nocturnal and they come out very occasionally.
Hog and Japanese deer did not live here in the past though recently they are rapidly increasing the population. And, Asiatic black bear, hare, mouse and bat inhabit here.
Japanese serow Capricornis crispus
A special natural treasure of Japan. They inhabit from montane to subalpine zone of Honshu (exclude Chugoku region), Shikoku and Kyushu. An endemic species of Japan. The length of body is 70-85cm, the height is 70-75cm, and the body weight is 30-45kg. It is smaller than Japanese deer and has pudgy body. Their limbs and neck are short and thick, the hair is short. Both male and female has black and sharpened horns, the length is about 15cm. They have bold suborbital glands under their eyes and they mark the territory with secretion from here.
Japanese Squirrel | Sciurus lis
Japanese hare | Lepus brachyurus
Wild boar | Sus scrofa
Japanese weasel | Mustela itatsi
Reptilians and Amphibians
There are no rare species inhabit though we see common reptiles inhabiting eastern Japan. We need attention to poisonous snakes such as Japanese mamushi and Tiger keelback. There are also Burrowing ratsnake and Japanese odd-tooth snake. No turtles here.
We see common amphibians inhabiting eastern Japan. Montane brown frog and Kajika frog are very common.
[*Poisonous] Japanese copperhead | Gloydius blomhoffii
[*Poisonous] Tiger keelback | Rhabdophis tigrinus
Japanese Rat Snakel | Japanese Rat Snake
Japanese striped snakel | Elaphe quadrivirgata
Japanese five-lined skink | Plestiodon japonicus
Montane Brown frog | Rana ornativentris
There are no rare species inhabit though we see common birds inhabiting eastern Japan. Eastern turtle cove comes to get the leftover food of monkeys’. In winter season, Accentor comes from the alpine for overwintering and goes back when spring comes.
Both side of the trail leading to the Jigokudani from the Kanbayashi-onsen is in the grove of planted cedar and larch. It has not been cared for long time, grass and shrubs flourish and it forms a secondary nature.
There are no rare plants but we can enjoy the different views of common plants native in eastern Japan from season to season.
In the upriver of the Jigokudani, there are undeveloped wooded area and natural groves of beech tree, Japanese oak, zelkova and alnus firma.