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The Following Reports are available from Japan:
Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?


Japan in winter, Honshu - Kyushu - Hokkaido 7 to 24 February 2013

  • For years I was under the impression that visiting and birding Japan independently would be very difficult because first of all of the language barrier and also that a trip to Japan would be too expensive. But after reading some recent  trip reports I came to the conclusion that now was the time to go...Henk Hendricks reports.
Red-crowned Crane

Japan February 6th - 18th 2003

  • This was our fourth winter visit to Japan. Highlights included five species of crane at Arasaki in Kyushu including annual vagrants in Sandhill, Common and Demoiselle Cranes. Further north at Saga above average numbers of wintering Saunder's Gulls and Falcated Ducks....Mark Finn reports for Birdwatching Breaks

Japan 8-26th Jan 2010 a report in .pdf format (193kB) by Eirik Gronningsaeter

Osaka, Japan to Vancouver Cruise April 30th to May 19th,2007

  • At sea all day travelling between Osaka and Tokyo. At noon the Statendam was in the Pacific about 60 miles off the south-central coast of Honshu. Birding highlights were large numbers of Streaked Shearwaters, also small numbers of both Tristram's and Swinhoe's Storm-Petrels and our first albatross....Barry Cooper and Gail Mackiernan report

Ryukyu Islands - Amami and Okinawa May 5 - 10, 2006

  • A trip to the Ryukyu Islands starts with the understanding that there are only a few birds to be found here that cannot be found elsewhere, but that these are very special endemics and that several are possible to see in a relatively short period....Gary Babic reports.

South Korea and Japan late January to February 2005

  • This extended trip was organised around two long-cherished ambitions- to see Steller's Sea Eagle on the ice in Hokkaido and to see a drake Scaly-sided Merganser anywhere one could be found.  The trip was successful on both scores and of course provided plenty of other entertainment besides....Ed Keeble reports

Japan and South Korea Feb 2005

  • The idea of a February trip was attractive, providing the opportunity for birding amongst some dramatic winter land- and seascapes, whilst avoiding any conflict with the 'peak' spring/autumn Holarctic birding seasons. The prospect of seeing large numbers of three species of crane, and the magnificent Steller's Sea Eagles was hard to resist...Richard & Erica Klim report.

Japan (Tokyo and Hachiojima Island) 14 – 22 October 2003

  • On Hachijo-jima Island, I spent 7 hours birding on the mountain (the one on the left hand side as you come into port) in overcast and showery weather, which was very good (and peaceful, as I didn't see another person the whole day out in the field.)  The second bird I saw after leaving the ship was the Izu Thrush....Paul Bamford reports

Japan 1st June to 4th June 2002

  • I recently attended the England/Sweden World Cup football match as part of a competition prize. The match was held at Saitama Stadium near Tokyo and we were staying at the Crown Plaza Metropolitan Hotel in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. Luckily the itinery allowed a fair amount of free time so I managed to sneak away for a little bit of birding...Robert Payne reports

Japanese Glimpses, April 2001

  • My first ever vist to Japan started out with 5 days in Shimonoseki, the southernmost city on the main island of Honshu. There I was the official guest of the city... I was invited because Tromsø Museum has lent a 115 years old Blue Whale skeleton to Kaikyokan nature museum...Wim Vader reports.

Japan 2000

  • Our aim was to do a lot of sight-seeing as well as birding so we had to forgo such treats as dancing Cranes and Stellar's Sea-Eagles on ice-floes which are winter specialities. We timed our trip to see some of the summer migrants but to miss the summer rainy season and fog in Hokkaido..Tony Coatsworth reports. Included are detailed reports from Tokyo and Hokkaido...There are also some excellent photo's available on Tony's web-site.
  • Welcome to the Japan Birdwatching Report page! While birdwatching in Japan, and enjoying the sights and sounds of such popular specimens as the Okinawa Rail and the Red-crowned Crane, you might notice a new trend which hasn't quite taken hold in other areas of the world. This trend is of course QR codes. They seem to be everywhere, people scanning QR codes to access websites and companies deciding to generate QR codes so people can quickly obtain product information, movie trailers etc. This isn't to say everyone in Japan is a mobile marketer but the country as a whole seems to be a lot more prone to adopting new and ground breaking technology.



Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?

Some Useful bird books for Japan:
Do you have a good book for this region that we haven't featured? let us know


Birds of East Asia (Helm Field Guides), Eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Eastern Russia.

Mark Brazil: Buy from or

  • This is the first single volume guide devoted to the eastern Asian avifauna. Birds endemic to this region include representatives of many of the major families, from the world's largest eagle - Steller's Sea Eagle - to the tiny Formosan Firecrest. The guide features the most up-to-date text available, which, in conjunction with extensive colour plates throughout, facilitates the field identification of all of the species known from the region. Colour distribution maps enhance the text by providing a visual analysis of the summer, winter and migratory ranges of all species.

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Japan and North-east Asia
Tadao Shimba: Buy from or

  • The first English language field guide to the birds of Japan for many years. A great deal of care has gone into the selection of the photos. Up to a page is devoted to each species. The distribution maps are very helpful. This will be a valuable guide for all birding visitors to Japan and North-East Asia for many years to come.

The Birds of Japan
Mark A. Brazil, Masayuki Yabuuchi (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • Japan, with its great range of climatic zones and habitats and consequently its exciting mix of species, is a fascinating country in which to birdwatch. The Japanese archipelago is on the migration route of many species breeding in Siberia and wintering in mainland southeast Asia, in Indonesia and even Australasia. It is the wintering grounnd for many northern birds, for thousands of cranes, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, thrushes and buntings and the breeding ground for a wide variety of species of more southerly origin.

A Birdwatcher's Guide to Japan
Mark Brazil : Buy from

  • A guide to the 60 best birdwatching sites in Japan. The book includes maps, field notes and travel information.

Recommended travel Guides for Japan

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: 47 Japan
Brian Burns (Editor) : Buy from or

  • All aspects of modern Japan as well as its history, art and ancient traditions are explained in this book, which also gives coverage to Japan's enormous variety in landscape, from near arctic in the north to sub-tropical in the south.


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Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?