Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, live between 41 degrees to 31 degrees North latitude in various areas of Japan. They live the farthest north of any type of monkey on Earth.

The snow monkeys live in one of four areas of Japan: the northwest section of Honshu Island, the Nagano Mountains, the coast of Oshima and mostly on the island of Yaku-Shima. Because of the considerable climate differences between these areas, some of them sub-tropical and some sub-alpine, these monkeys are adaptable to changes in temperature. Their light summer coats grow into heavy coats for the cold winters. The snow monkey is on the list of threatened animals primarily due to the destruction of the animal's natural habitat.