More than 600 bird species have been recorded in Japan to date. The majority are migratory, more than 60%. Approximately 60 species are endemic or sub-regional endemic. Japan is latitudinally long at over 3,000 kilometers and has 6,852 islands, and Blain, our workshop leader, has explored and photographed on over 200 of these islands. Japan’s flora and fauna are divided by two ecological lines, the Blakiston’s Line which is between Hokkaido and Honshu, and the Watase Line which is just below Kyushu. Hokkaido wildlife is internationally recognized for its abundance and diversity, so you can enjoy birding and experience encounters with Sika Deer and other Hokkaido native species. One of our main offices is located directly between both lines on the busiest route of the birding migratory path during spring and autumn.
Birding in Japan includes species such as the Japanese White Eye or Mejiro in February while they sip the sweet nectar or the Kawazu sakura, the earliest blooming cherry blossom. Also in winter you can photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagles, Red-crowned Cranes, the White-tailed Eagle, Black Kites, Golden Eagles, Japanese Water Rail, Daurian Redstart, the Brown-headed Thrush, Grey and Yellow Wagtail, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, the Rustic Bunting, the Japanese Wagtail, Eastern Spot-Billed Duck, Azure-winged Magpie, Eurasian Nuthatch, Little Grebes, Glaucous Gull - the second largest gull in the world, Kingfishers, the Okinawa Rail, the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the Green Pheasant, baby Swallows, and Martins, and, if lucky, the Oriental Stork, which was thought to be extinct, but is on a comeback. Images can be viewed here. This is not an exhaustive list. Depending on which region you are visiting and photographing, we recommend birding in Hokkaido from December to March. Birding in Tokyo is best from February to April because of cherry blossoms. The recommended period for birding on the Sea of Japan starts at the end of March and continues until June, then again from September to February, and sometimes continuing into March. Our itineraries are flexible depending on seasonal conditions and are modified accordingly to give us the best viewing opportunities.
Why Choose this Birding Photography Tour/Workshop?
Birders of all levels are welcome
All cameras, scopes, videocameras, binoculars, and formats are welcome
Long, heavy lens 800mm, 1000mm, or 1200mm are very welcome
Activity level: leisurely - moderate, depending on species’ preferences
Waders, life vests, climbing gear available for rental for shops
Transportation - SUVs with Business Class Seating and each participant has a window seat
All tours and workshops include lodgings and meals
Small group size equals quality time in the field
Handheld radios and tracking device frequencies known and used for spotting
Each evening and morning we discuss our best shooting options with our weather conditions so we will be well prepared
2019 will be Blain Harasymiw your workshop leader’s 22nd year leading birding and wildlife tours in Hokkaido, Kanto, Tohoku, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Kinki, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa
Cost: From $700 per day per person based on 3 - 4 participants, 2 participants from $1000 per day per person; single person $1800 per day.
The Perfect Japan Birding vacation adventure awaits! To start your adventure, all interested parties should fill out the contact form below to begin to process for a personalized birding photography Japan adventure workshop. Please include in your message your desired dates of travel. The number of participants. A few keywords of species you would like to view, such as The Steller’s Sea Eagle, The Japanese White Eye with Cherry Blossoms, Hokkaido, Okinawa, Tokyo, Mt. Fuji.
Perhaps you want to try a tour that Blain is already leading but with a more personal focus? Please let us know!