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:

  • Enjoy some fantastic bird-watching on Japan's snow-swept northern island of Hokkaido

    Winter Bird Watching

    Steller's Sea Eagles, Red-Crowned Cranes and Blakiston's Fish Owls are just some of the many rare species to be spotted in Hokkaido during Japan's winter season. Our flexible independent travel itinerary includes two full days with birding guides and the very best lodging locations.

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    Enjoy some fantastic bird-watching on Japan's snow-swept northern island of Hokkaido

Other Wildlife experiences

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  • Manta scramble

    Manta scramble

    Dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see huge Pacific manta rays

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  • Steller's sea eagles

    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.

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  • Wildlife boat cruises

    Wildlife boat cruises

    Take a boat cruise around the shoreline of the Shiretoko Peninsula and experience the diverse wildlife and marine life of this remote wilderness

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