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.
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.
Plan your trip
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