Japan – the clean-cut, modern economic powerhouse – is also an archipelago that is as variable as it is exciting. From the subtropics of Kyushu to temperate Hokkaido, the stark mountains, jagged coastline, and forests hold several of the world’s must-see birds. These tours are timed for winter, when the massive-billed Steller’s Sea-Eagles congregate on impressive ice floes waiting for fishermen’s scraps, and huge numbers of cranes gather at their wintering grounds. Add some great mixed-flock birding in the coniferous forests of the central islands, in addition to gulls and waterbirds galore, and you have a great mix of birding experiences. Another great experience is indulging in some sake (a pungent and strong white spirit) on a cold winter night while waiting for the Blakiston’s Fish-Owl at a floodlit waterhole stake-out. You will leave these enigmatic islands having experienced some of the greatest birding spectacles on earth. Japan is extremely different in spring and summer, and so deserves two different tours to illustrate that, and large and conspicuous birds like cranes, eagles and owls, make it a natural choice for a Photo Tour too.