Kyoto Shimbun 2014.1.7 News

"Saru Onsen" Proposed by Junior High Students Reopens
Kyoto City Zoo on January 12

"Saru Onsen," or a hot-water-filled pool, in which rhesus monkeys soak themselves at a monkey breeding facility, will reopen in conjunction with a free admission day on January 12 at Kyoto City Zoo in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. Although Saru Onsen was popular among visitors, it could not be set up in 2013 due to the zoo's maintenance work, so it will be opening for the first time in two years.

Saru Onsen was proposed in 2006 by two students at Okazaki Junior High School to stimulate their local neighborhood, the Okazaki area. It was set up for the first time in February 2007, utilizing hot water produced from waste heat generated in the Kyoto City Northeast Clean Center and from bathhouses, all in Sakyo Ward. In January 2011, students at the junior high school composed "Saru Onsen no Theme," or theme of Saru Onsen, and premiered the music in front of the monkeys soaking themselves in hot water.

This time hot water will be delivered by fire pumps from "Hikari, Mizu, Midori no Nettai Dobutsu-kan," or tropical animals' house with light, water and greenery, which opened in 2013. About 20 students belonging to the junior high school's brass band club will play "Saru Onsen no Theme" and other pieces of music, and sing together for approximately 30 minutes. Staff at the zoo said, "Four to five young, curious monkeys are expected to take a bath. I hope visitors will get a warm feeling, seeing the monkeys in hot water." Saru Onsen will also open on February 11.

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo = Rhesus monkeys soaking in hot water (January 2012, Kyoto City Zoo, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)