Go bird-watching in search of rare birds!
Eastern Hokkaido acts as a sanctuary for wild birds, and is home to many rare and endangered birds.
Over 1,300 wild Japanese red-crowned cranes, which are listed as a Special Natural Monument of Japan, inhabit the Kushiro and Nemuro area. During winter, they are fed at facilities like Tancho Nature Park, Akan International Crane Center, and Tsurui-Ito Tancho Sanctuary, giving onlookers a closer look at these elegant birds. For those wishing to view them in their natural surroundings, you'll have no problem spotting them in the open wetlands.
There have been approximately 250 confirmed wild bird sightings at Lake Furen and Shunkunitai in Nemuro. This well-known bird-watching sanctuary has a great variety of wild birds. Here, you can find anything from raptorial birds, such as white-tailed and Steller’s sea eagles, to migratory birds, like whooper swans and ducks. Also, there is the alpine red-flanked bluetail and marine seagull. If you join one of the nature tours offered at the local nature centers, you may even get a chance to see some rare birds.
The endangered Blakiston’s fish owl can be spotted in Shiretoko, Nemuro, or at Yoroushi Hot Springs in Nakashibetsu. For those looking for the tufted puffin, an aquatic fowl with a beautiful orange beak, head to its breeding ground in Kiritappu, Hamanaka-cho.