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.