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Island Endemics & Breeding Birds

28 May to 12 June 2017

Leaders: Kaz Shinoda and Nigel Jones

Maximum of nine

2017 Cost £6,299 single room supplement £300

Japan comprises a chain of islands that span 1,600 miles and encompass many different vegetation zones. Stretching from the sub-arctic of Hokkaido to the sub-tropics of Nansei Shoto, these beautiful islands with their jagged and broken coastlines possess some of the most striking scenery in eastern Asia. This tour will offer a unique insight into the natural history and culture of this fascinating country.

Ornitholidays has visited Japan before in the winter months and now we visit in the spring to find many of the interesting species that come to these islands to breed. Species such as Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Japanese and Siberian Thrushes, Narcissus and Blue-and-white Flycatchers, Eastern Crowned and Japanese Leaf Warblers, Siberian Rubythroat and Japanese Reed Bunting. We also visit some of the sub-tropical Nansei-Shoto Islands to look for endemic species, such as Lidth's Jay, Pryer's Woodpecker, Ryukyu Robin, Amami Woodcock and Okinawa Rail. To contrast these southern islands we shall travel to the rugged north, to Hokkaido, with its Red-crowned Cranes and Blakiston’s Fish Owl.

To visit Japan is to have a complete cultural experience. Birding aside, the country is a fascinating one, and for those with a spirit of adventure and a willingness to adapt to new ways of doing things, it is the holiday of a lifetime. Even day to day aspects, such as sleeping (on a futon), bathing (in an ofuro and perhaps even an outdoor hot spring in Hokkaido) and eating (Japanese-style) all take on a new significance and become fun events. But don't worry, the Japanese-style living will be interspersed with western-style accommodation and food, and throughout the journey our local guide, Kaz Shinoda, will be there to point out and explain not only the birds and wildlife, but also cultural points of interest.

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Outline Itinerary
Day 1 Depart London
Day 2 Arrive Tokyo
Day 3 Kamakura-Ofuna
Days 4-5 Mount Fuji
Day 6 Tokyo
Days 7-8 Amami
Days 9-10 Okinawa
Day 11 Tokyo
Days 12-14 Hokkaido
Day 15 Tokyo
Day 16 Depart Tokyo, arrive London