Onuma Bird House (Wakkanai)
This log house is most suitable for observing waterfowl by Onuma Pond where several thousand swans fly in during the spring and autumn. There is a rental service for binoculars and telescopes.
Maruyama Park (Sapporo)
This large park is very popular with Sapporo citizens. Primeval forests of Mizunara (oak) and Katsura trees spread out over the hills.
Lake Utonai-ko Sanctuary (Tomakomai)
The Wild Bird Society of Japan manages this sanctuary where you can see more than 170 kinds of birds including swans and white-tailed sea eagles throughout the year. Ezo shika deer and Ezo red fox can also be seen here. On the bird-watching tours, rangers are available to provide information such as when the geese land in large numbers in March.
Akan International Crane Center (Kushiro)
"Grus" is the Latin word for crane. The GRUS research facility situated in Akan is a famous habitat for the red-crowned crane. In the outdoor breeding farm, you can observe wild cranes and enjoy learning about the ecology of them.
Mudflats at Mu-kawa Estuary (Mukawa Town, Yubutsu)
Mu-kawa River is 136 km in length and is the 5th longest river in Hokkaido. The estuary is well known among birdwatchers as a stopover spot for migratory birds such as curlews and plovers. Activities for the preservation of the estuary are promoted.
Shunkunitai Wild Bird Sanctuary (Nemuro)
Shunkunitai is a sandbank that lies between the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Furen- ko. The main feature of this area is the diversity of nature that includes seashore, grass fields, wetlands and mudflats, where you might encounter not only wild birds but also various animals such as Ezo red fox, Ezo shika deer and seals. Rangers of "Wild Bird Society of Japan" are present at all times, and events such as Steller's sea eagle watch tours in winter are held on weekends.
Notsuke-hanto Peninsula Nature Center (Betsukai Town, Notsuke)
Red-crowned cranes can be seen here from early spring till late autumn. In the winter, you might see white-tailed sea eagles and Steller's sea eagles together, which is in itself a precious experience. From May to October, bird watching or forest walk nature tours are offered as a set with a cruise on a sightseeing boat. You need to book these tours in advance.
Nopporo Forest Park Visitor's Center (Sapporo, Ebetsu, Kita-hiroshima)
This vast hillside forest is home to birds such as the black woodpecker and rare animals including the Ezo salamander and Ezo brown frog, despite its close proximity to urban Sapporo. There are wonderful nature trails here, ranging from 1 to 5 km long, so depending on how much time you have, choose the best one for an enjoyable walk.
The Visitor's Center includes a facility that introduces the history of Hokkaido's development. You will learn about the local people and their struggle to coexist with the harshness of nature. There is a 100-m-tall monument equipped with an observatory, the "Historical Museum of Hokkaido" and the "Historical Village of Hokkaido".