The islands of Japan lie at the eastern edge of Eurasia and cover a diverse range of habitats, from the sub-tropical Ryukyu Islands to the almost Siberian taiga-like wilds of Hokkaido. Japan is a surprisingly mountainous and wooded land, with beautiful varied coastlines and very heavily populated lowlands, where tiny rice fields dot the landscape amidst the rural dwellings. Add to this the seabirds, migrant warblers, alcids, and the Izu and Ryukyu Islands endemics, plus a useful sprinkling of Japanese mainland endemics and of course the huge, marvelous, and rare Blakiston's Fish-Owl, and you have the makings of a truly memorable visit. We will have great views of Mt Fuji and do some birding on the slopes of this gorgeous place too. Besides Amami and Okinawa, we'll also visit little-known Ishigaki island in the far south, which has which has several very rarely seen endemics in Iriomote Serpent-Eagle and two recent splits yet to be adopted by Clements, Orii's (Varied) Tit and the distinctive Ishigaki Tit.

Japanese culture is also a feature of the trip, with one or two of our lodgings in traditional Japanese guest-houses or minshuku, with sliding walls, tatami rush matting, and futon bedding, while a couple of the hotels have the in-house onsen deep hot-spring baths. The food is also very distinctive, with a fantastic selection of sauces for the elaborate fish, rice, and vegetable dishes, which make up the traditional cuisine, and we will have some memorable meals.

This tour is ideal for photography and video, with beautiful scenery and light and some large spectacular species at close range.

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Combo Tours
If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
TAIWAN