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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
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Charms of Hokkaido: Birding & Wildlife Winter Photography Tour

Discover the incredible nature and rare wildlife of Hokkaido with a tour some of the island's most beautiful nature destinations, including Kushiro, Lake Kussharo, and the Shiretoko Peninsula. Capture memorable pictures of the red- crowned crane, Blakiston's Fish Owl, Steller's Sea Eagle,

Tour Code: GTS3194134

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $4898.00 (Limit to 10 guests)

Single supplement: USD $720.00

Tour duration: 9 days 8 nights

Destination:
Tsurui - Lake Kussharo - Mt. Iou - Notsuke Peninsula - Rausu - Aidomari - Nemuro - Lake Furen - Kiritappu Wetland

Tour cost includes:
• 4 nights Western style and 4 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Kushiro Airport
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking nature guide
• Gratuities
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 6 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2023
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Tue. Feb 21, 2023 Wed. Mar 1, 2023 USD $4898.00 Kushiro Kushiro View Tour
2024
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sun. Feb 11, 2024 Mon. Feb 19, 2024 USD $4898.00 Kushiro Kushiro View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Kushiro Airport

Welcome to Kushiro! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kushiro or similar class

NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.

Day 2

Tsurui (Tsurumidai / Tsurui Ito Tancho Crane Sanctuary)

After breakfast, travel with your private guide from Kushiro to Tsurui, where we will explore the best spots for watching the Tancho Red-Crowned Crane. The gorgeous crane is one of Japan's most iconic birds; the dainty bird graces Japanese arts and folklore, and its distinct call has a place on the list of the "100 Soundscapes of Japan". First, we go to Tsurumidai, we can view over two hundred cranes in a field where they can be seen mingling together and searching for food. They only come to this feeding ground in the winter, so this is the ideal time to see them. Then we travel to Tsurui Ito Tancho Crane Sanctuary, another open area to watch the cranes flutter and feed over the snowy field. This field is a good place to snap photos of the cranes' enchanting dance during mating season. There will be plenty of time to snap that perfect photo of these magnificent birds before its time to head to your hotel for the evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Green Park Tsurui or similar class

Day 3

Tsurui (Otowa Bridge - Red-crowned Crane in the Early Morning / Tsurui Ito Tancho Crane Sanctuary)

Today, you and your guide will head out in the early morning to Otowa Bridge, where the cranes can be seen roosting in the river below. Since the water of this river doesn't freeze in winter, the cranes find the spot an ideal place to gather as the sun is coming up. The reddish sunlight glinting in the off the water, where the dainty cranes stand lightly obscured by the morning mist - the view from Otawa Bridge is truly a coveted photo spot. After, we return to the hotel for a satisfying breakfast before returning to Tsurui, to the Tsurui Ito Tancho Crane Sanctuary, for yet another chance to see the cranes ranging over the snowy white field. Take the time to find that ideal crane photo before we drive to the shores of Lake Kussharo and make our way to the hotel for the evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Kawayu Kanko Hotel or similar class

Day 4

Lake Kussharo (Kotan - Whooper Swans in the Early Morning / Kotan - Whooper Swans), Mt. Iou

Greet the early morning on the shores of Lake Kussharo where, in spite of the winter chill, much of the lake remains unfrozen thanks to the volcanic gases from the region, which makes the water more acidic. This includes the Kotan hot springs area, which offers the perfect winter roosting area for the beautiful white whooper swan. This gorgeous creature can be observed enjoying the water, their downy white feathers seem almost to blend in with the snowy background. After, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before returning to the Kotan Hot Springs for another chance to take that perfect picture of the whooper swan. Then we make our way up to nearby Mount Iou for a spectacular view of the surrounding area before returning to the hotel for the evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Kawayu Kanko Hotel or similar class

Day 5

Notsuke Peninsula (Ezo Deer & Hokkaido Fox), Rausu (Blakiston's Fish Owl at Night)

Today, travel with your guide to Notsuke Peninsula, a long, sandy stretch of land sticking out like a jagged fish hook from the eastern coast of Hokkaido. This wetland region is an excellent place to spot local wildlife, and while you tour the area, have your camera ready to take opportunistic pictures of the local Ezo Deer and Hokkaido Fox, which can be glimpsed in the area along with eagles and various migratory birds. After, we travel to Rausu, where we will stop for a nighttime hike, where you may catch a glimpse of the rare Blakiston's Fish Owl. This one-of-a-kind owl is special to the Hokkaido region, being held sacred by the indigenous Ainu people. We will take some time to search out this magnificent bird together before finally heading to our hotel for a restful evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Shiretoko Serai or similar class

Day 6

Rausu (Nature Cruise for Sea Birds), Aidomari (Harlequin Duck & Sea Birds), Rausu (Blakiston's Fish Owl at Night)

After breakfast, we embark on a nature cruise around the Rausu area for the Sea Birds of the area, such as the sea eagles. We continue to Aidomari a popular hot spring region which is also a good region to view the coastal sea birds, including the harlequin duck - an especially colorful waterfowl. Finally, we make our way back to Rausu for one last chance to spot Blakiston's Fish Owl. This cute and fluffy brown birds are the world's largest living owls, and is a rare wildlife photograph opporunity. After you catch a glimpse of the splendid bird and take your photos, we head to the hotel for a restful evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Shiretoko Serai or similar class

Day 7

Rausu (Nature Cruise for Sea Birds in the Early Morning, Nemuro (Nature Cruise for Sea Birds in the Afternoon)

In the early morning, embark on a special nature cruise around the Rausu area. As the southern half of the famed Shiretoko Peninsula, Rausu is teeming with various wildlife including assorted sea birds such as gulls and ducks, but also the more rare sea eagles may be glimpsed there. The cruise lasts for around two and a half hours, which offers plenty of chances to take the best pictures of the local bird life. We then travel to Nemuro, which is located on the nearby Nemuro Peninsula, where another sea cruise awaits, with plenty of opportunity for photos of the fascinating sea birds. After, we transfer to the hotel for the evening.

Breakfast / Dinner

Nemuro Kaiyotei or similar class

Day 8

Lake Furen (Steller’s Sea Eagle & White-Tailed Eagle), Kiritappu Wetland

After breakfast, we visit Lake Furen, a brackish lake off the coast of the Nemuro Peninsula, and an ideal location to take pictures of the magnificent Steller's Sea Eagle - the second-largest eagle in the world. The White Tailed Eagles may also be seen if you keep a sharp eye out. Then we travel to the Kiritapu Wetland. While known especially for it's various flowers in summer, but in winter you may see a collection of eagles, cranes, and other local birds. Enjoy the tour of this breathtakingly gorgeous region as you discover the beautiful birds and wildlife through the eye of your camera lens.

Breakfast

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kushiro or similar class

Day 9

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Kushiro Airport by Airport Limousine Bus.

Breakfast

NOTE 2: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to the airport on your own.

NOTE 3: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.