Japan: Birding in the Spring - Birding Tour
We are currently only offering this tour as a Custom Tour. Please Contact Us for more information
Although winter is the most famous time for foreign birders to visit Japan, spring is a fascinating time to come to this unique country, and many endemics and breeding birds are best seen at this time of year. We will be targeting as many of these as possible on this tour. We begin in Okinawa, which has a totally different feel than the rest of the country. The Ryukyu islands, were formerly part of an independent Ryukyu Kingdom until 1879, when they were annexed by Japan. But they are both culturally and biologically unique, with about 9 endemic species and 7 additional taxa that could well be endemic species splits. After exploring both the main island plus the unique island of Amami Oshima in search of their many endemics, we will fly to Tokyo on Honshu, the largest of Japan’s 4 main islands. Here we will search reed beds near Tokyo for localized breeding birds, explore the forested slopes of Karuizawa in Nagano prefecture, and then the area around Mt Fuji, Japan’s iconic highest mountain. We end the tour with a boat ride to the island of Miyakejima where we will search for more endemics and enjoy some great sea-watching on the way back. We also offer an extension to Hokkaido, often dubbed the Alaska of Japan, which has the largest expanses of wilderness in the country. Winter attractions like Blakiston’s Fish-Owl and Red-crowned Cranes can still be seen at this time of year, but there are many other great breeding birds that cannot be seen in winter.