Wildlife in Japan
Take a Japanese safari! Try bird-watching in Hokkaido, visit the snow monkeys of the Japanese Alps or watch turtles hatching on Yakushima Island.
Animals and wildlife perhaps don't spring to mind when you first think of Japan, instead you might picture giant cities, huge skyscrapers and endless people swarming across pedestrian crossings. Yet over 70% of Japan's land mass is uninhabited by humans, offering plenty of space for wildlife to thrive - and that's not to mention all the marine life in the waters around the archipelago.
Up in the mountains you'll find Japan's native monkey population, famous for escaping the winter snow to enjoy hot spring baths, just like people. The wild landscapes of Hokkaido are home to many rare birds including Steller's sea eagles and Blakiston's fish owls. Then there are the whales and dolphins of the Pacific and the loggerhead turtles of Yakushima Island.
Even in the cities you can encounter animals, be it befriending cats in a kitschy café or visiting one of Japan's world-class aquariums.
Steller's sea eagles
Take a small ice breaker cruise into the ice flows of the Nemuro Straits to photograph Steller's sea eagles fishing for Pacific cod.
Make friends with the sacred, yet cheeky deer in Nara Park.
Observe the amazing spectacle that is the annual red-crowned crane mating dance.
Visit Yakushima Island to see loggerhead turtle lay their eggs. Later in the summer watch the babies scramble into the sea.
Blakiston's fish owl
Meet Blakiston's fish owl, the largest owl in the world, which feed on river fish around the Shiretoko Peninsula.
Flying Squirrels Night Time Tour
Join an expert nature guide for a night time exploration of the forests around Karuizawa to see the world's largest flying squirrel.
Iriomote's yamaneko wildcat
Japan's Loch Ness monster? See if you can spot the illusive Iriomote wildcat!
Japan is home to a magnificent range of whales and dolphins, and whale watching cruises provide a sustainable alternative to whaling.
Don't miss the famous snow monkeys enjoying bath time at Yudanaka Onsen.
Fancy swimming amid a school of hammerhead sharks?
Japanese Giant Salamanders Conservation
Wade into the clear rivers of remote Tottori Prefecture for a wildlife research experience with Japanese giant salamanders.
Dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see huge Pacific manta rays
Wildlife boat cruises
Take a boat cruise around the shoreline of the Shiretoko Peninsula and experience the diverse wildlife of this remote wilderness
Even today, water buffalo is the main form of transport on Taketomi Island.