Photo/Illutration“Yukizaru-kan” cans featuring snow monkeys (Provided by Yawataya Isogoro Ltd.)

  • Photo/Illustraion

NAGANO--Those who wonder how hot this prefecture's famous snow monkeys feel when they're soaking in the local hot spring need not trouble themselves anymore.

A long-established condiment manufacturer here hopes people who like pepper will identify the image of the red-faced monkeys with their seven-spice blend of chili peppers.

Capitalizing on the monkeys' popularity, Nagano-based Yawataya Isogoro Ltd. is offering “shichimi togarashi” in cans featuring images of the Japanese macaques.

The “Yukizaru-kan” (snow monkey can) will be available in a limited run from Jan. 1 until the end of the year.

Jigokudani Yaen-Koen park in Nagano's Yamanouchi has become a magnet for foreign travelers in recent years, who come for a glimpse of the monkeys taking a hot bath up close.

“We were motivated by inbound (tourists),” a company representative said, explaining the decision to create the can.

The shichimi includes “kasho,” or Sichuan pepper used in Sichuan cuisine and other Chinese dishes, and is characterized by its deep, sumptuous aroma, according to the company.

A Yukizaru-kan can containing 14 grams of shichimi sells for 432 yen ($3.90), including tax.

The new designs are currently available at the company’s main shop in front of Zenkoji temple, a central government-designated national treasure. They will also be sold through its online shop from mid-January, and at souvenir shops and elsewhere across the prefecture from February, Yawataya Isogoro added.