Highlights of this spectacular winter trip include views of Japan’s most famed wildlife: flocks of Steller’s sea eagles, Japanese cranes, Blakiston’s fish owl, and Japanese macaques bathing in hot springs.
Hokkaido, Japan's most northerly island, is covered with snow, the rivers frozen over, and the wintry countryside graced by the stately Japanese crane, with its elaborate courtship rituals. Along the rugged coastline we search for seabirds in the many bays and inlets, and at the fishing village of Rausu find Steller's sea eagles, attracted by the cold, rich waters of the Okhotsk Sea. We also search the snowy woodlands for another rarity, Blakiston's fish owl, which hunts along the riverbanks.
On return to Tokyo, we stay overnight so can see something of the frenetic pace of city life before taking a shinkansen – bullet train – northwest to Nagano, to enjoy the iconic sight of Japanese macaques a.k.a. snow monkeys bathing in natural hot springs at Jigokudani (Hell's Valley).
No visit to Japan would be complete without savouring the country's extraordinary cultural richness, so in Nagano we visit one of the country's foremost religious sites, the temple of Zenko-ji, which houses the very first statue of Buddha brought from India. During our stay we experience many of Japan's customs and traditions for ourselves: our accommodation includes a traditional Japanese ryokans (inns), we bathe Japanese-style in onsen (natural hot springs), and enjoy the country's legendary cuisine.
Our 13 February 2020, 27 January 2021 and 17 February 2022 departures are Wildlife Photography Specials, led by Bret Charman - please contact us for more details.
The full itinerary detail is available on our website.
Please note: Most of our hotels have western-style rooms with private bathroom; on Hokkadio we stay in ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), which have a futon laid on the floor, rather than a bed.
This is a group trip with fixed departure dates. Please refer to our website for further information.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
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