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Natural beauty is not something that immediately springs to mind for most people when they think of Japan. Rather it is images of sprawling huge mega-cities, high rise towers and the latest electronic wizardry. However, with nearly 80% of the Japanese land-mass being uninhabited, Japan is a haven for wildlife and has spectacular scenery to match that which you will find any where in the world.

We encourage all our guests to head out into the countryside to see a little bit of the countryís outstanding natural beauty and to make the choices a little easier we have collected together some of the very best in nature experiences. In this section you will find bear watching in the Japanese Alps, the chance to see the majestic whales which are abundant in Japanese waters, places to view some of Japanís rarest birdlife and much more besides.

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Bird Watching in Japan


From Sea Eagles through waders and waterfowl, Japan has some wonderful opportunities for unique bird watching experiences.

Most easily accessed are the nature reserves near Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto - Yatsu Higata Reserve and the Nanko Bird Sanctuary respectively. These two reserves have many varieties of ducks, egrets, herons, kestrels, kites, terns and many more.

For the best opportunities however you should head to the northern island of Hokkaido which, vast and relatively unspoilt, features expansive National Parks and many fantastic bird watching opportunities.

Priority should be given to the White-tailed and Steller's Sea Eagles which can be viewed at most ports on the east of Hokkaido and especially on boat launches from the Shiretoko peninsula. Small boat ice-breaker cruises depart Rausu port from February onwards enabling you to get up close to the eagles for some great photographs.

Hokkaido is also home to a population of Tancho (Red-crowned Cranes)  which can be seen at the nature reserves of the Kushiro-shitsugen Marsh in Tsurui just north of Kushiro city. During the mating season these can be seen "dancing" in the snow - a magical sight. The cranes can also be seen in the Sarobetsu-genya Moor and on the Notsuke-hanto Peninsula.

Hokkaido's Lake Furen and Akan National Park meanwhile gives the opportunity to see Blackiston's Fish Owl with some lodgings particularly well known as regular and reliable view points.

On the western coast of Hokkaido and even rarer still you might be lucky enough to spot Ororon Birds (Common Guillemot) which live only on Teuri-to Island and are nearing extinction.

Heading south to the island of Kyushu there are further crane reserves, with the plains of Izumi in the Arasaki park being a great place to enjoy watching these majestic creatures. Common, Demoiselle and Sandhill Cranes can be seen here whilst there are also populations of Falcated Ducks and Saunder's Gulls nearby.

Our Winter Highlights small group tour features a stay in Hokkaido with an ice breaker cruise and a chance to see the Tancho cranes. Or contact us for Self-Guided tailored itineraries and advice.


Winter (Jan to March ) is the best time but bird watching can be enjoyed year round.

Mainly Hokkaido (Japan's northern island) and Kyushu (Japan's southern island) but also some nature sanctuaries in the Tokyo and Kansai (Kyoto / Osaka) Areas.

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Many thanks for taking the time to browse our web-site. We very much hope you are enjoying the site we have put together and that it has inspired you to contact us and take the first steps towards your holiday in Japan!

There are many things to consider when planning your Japan trip: time of year you wish to travel; how long you have available; where in Japan you want to go; the things you wish to experience; what budget you have available to name but a few.

Our Tailored Trip Enquiry Form is designed so we can get as clear an idea as possible as to what will make the perfect Japan trip for you.

After we have received your enquiry, one of our Japan-expert travel consultants will get in touch to discuss your trip in more detail so as we can out together a proposal for you. We donít ask for any money upfront to put together a quote and most importantly, every quote we do is 100% tailored for you.

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Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009