Red-crowned cranes

Observe the amazing spectacle that is the annual red-crowned crane mating dance.

The tancho or red-crown crane are believed to represent longevity and have long played a special part in Japanese mythology. Sadly, however, in recent years their numbers have diminished due to urbanisation. Today half the world's tancho population make their winter home in the safety of Tsurui's crane sanctuary and this is a beautiful spot to experience the cranes' famous mating dance. The red-crowned crane is the largest crane in the world standing 1.5 metre tall with a wing span of 2.5 metres.

InsideJapan are delighted to work with a certified Hokkaido guide and wildlife photography expert based in Tsurui who can ensure visitors have the best bird watching experience possible.

When to go: The best time to see the red-crowned cranes is in winter, ideally in February. However, due to the protection they have been afforded in this area the cranes no longer migrate so can be seen all year round

Red-crowned cranes

located in Tsurui

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Japan in the winter is a magical destination, blanketed in snow and free from the crowds that throng the cultural hotspots in summer.

    Winter Highlights

    From incredible snow sculptures and rare birds in Hokkaido to snow monkeys and cultural treasures on Honshu; this tour demonstrates the myriad attractions of the winter season on Japan's two largest islands.

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    Japan in the winter is a magical destination, blanketed in snow and free from the crowds that throng the cultural hotspots in summer.

Other Wildlife experiences

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    Snow monkeys

    Don't miss the famous snow monkeys enjoying bath time at Yudanaka Onsen.

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  • Blakiston's fish owl

    Blakiston's fish owl

    Meet Blakiston's fish owl, the largest owl in the world, which feed on river fish around the Shiretoko Peninsula.

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  • Hammerhead sharks

    Hammerhead sharks

    Fancy swimming amid a school of hammerhead sharks?

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