|Many independent birders are a little put-off from visiting Japan, due to the perceived barriers of language, and other logistical difficulties of booking accommodation etc. Over the years, we have helped many couples and small groups on self-drive trips, arranging everything needed to make the trip as easy and hassle-free as possible, including the back-up of an English-speaker at the end of the phone should there be any real difficulties. With this assistance, and the helpful and polite nature of the Japanese, these trips have been great successes, and word-of-mouth has made these trips very popular, especially in winter.
In winter, we can begin on Kyushu, for the magical crane gathering, along with
the secretive Copper Pheasant, Green Pheasant, Saunders’ and
Great Black-headed Gulls, the gorgeous Baikal Teal, Japanese
Murrelet, Long-billed Plover, Crested Kingfisher, and, with luck,
Heading to the frozen north, we visit the famous Akan Crane
Sanctuary, where photographers will be able to take many shots
of dancing, fighting and bugling Red-crowned Cranes. Moving
from here, another highlight awaits, the enigmatic Blakiston’s Fish Owl, which we can usually see from the warmth of a local minshuku. After this, we will skirt the coastline, with Eagles in
excellent numbers, and concentrate on the alcids, which often gather in the harbours.
|These trips have included additions of trips to Ryukyu Islands, Karuizawa, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Tokyo, and visiting the famous Snow Monkeys. Everything is flexible dependent on time and
budget. Spring is also a popular time, when several endemic species are easier to find, and returning
summering species boost the numbers.