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Japan: Honshu and Hokkaido

Japan has exquisite natural landscapes ranging from subtropical to Siberian taiga-like wilds that boasts 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, of which we will visit three, and has a bird list of over 700 species with 16 endemics. Our tour will begin in Tokyo, where the mountains are blanketed with dense forests of oak, beech, and maple. We will also visit Mt Fuji, Japan’s most revered and sacred attraction, to search for the endemic Japanese Accentor and we will travel to the northernmost island of Hokkaido, a highly volcanic landscape filled with crystal-blue caldera lakes and hot springs. 

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Our tour will begin in Tokyo on the largest island, Honshu, where the mountains below 6,000 feet are blanketed with dense forests of oak, beech, and maple. One of our highlights will be visiting the nearly symmetrical Mt Fuji, Japan’s highest peak at 12,388 feet. Mt Fuji is among Japan’s most revered and sacred attractions where we will search for Spotted Nutcracker, Orange-flanked Bush-Robin, and the endemic Japanese Accentor. We will visit the Nikko Toshogu, a World Heritage Site, which is a lavishly ornate Shinto complex that houses the shrine of the first shogun and the dazzling Sunset Gate. The areas around Nikko and Mt Fuji will allow us to search for Japanese Green Pheasant, Japanese Woodpecker, and Japanese Wagtail, all endemics. Another World Heritage Site is the Kamakura Daibutsu that has a 37.5 feet bronze statue of Amida Buddha that was completed in 1252. 

We will end by traveling to Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, a highly volcanic landscape filled with crystal-blue caldera lakes and hot springs. The flora and fauna are more closely related to Sakhalin, Russia to the north than the rest of Japan and include White-tailed Eagle, the endangered Red-Crowned Crane, Siberian Rubythroat, Long-tailed Rosefinch, and Blakiston’s Fish-Owl. Shiretoko National Park (World Heritage Site) is one of the country’s last true wilderness areas that is home to Ussuri Brown Bear, Yezo Sika Deer, and Sakhalin Fox as well a diversity of birds including Brown Dipper, Gray Bunting, and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker.

Trip Details

  • Trip leaders: Kirk Hardie and Dan van den Broek
  • Early Bird discount: $6,695 members / $7,695 non-members
  • Deposit: $3,500
  • Single supplement: TBD
  • Group size: Limited to 12 participants

 

Japan Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Shoto) Pre-trip Extension

The Ryukyu Islands are a sub-tropical chain of islands that stretch from the island of Kyushu to the southwest to Taiwan. The Ryukyu Kingdom unified the Ryukyu Islands during their rule from the 15th to 19th centuries. The Kingdom played an important role in maritime trade despite its small size. The Islands are more laid back than the four main Japanese Islands and have their dialect and take on Japanese food.

We will visit the two largest islands in the chain, Okinawa, and Amami, where we will search for many sought-after endemics as well as migrating birds and local specialties. On Amami, we will search for three endemics: Lidth’s Jay, Amami Woodcock, and Amami Thrush, as well as the Ryukyu Scops-Owl and an endemic mammal, the Amami Black Rabbit. We will explore Okinawa in search of two more endemics, the Okinawa Woodpecker and Okinawa Rail. Both islands will allow tracking down Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Ryukyu Green-Pigeon, Ryukyu Minivet (endemic), and Ryukyu Robin (endemic).

Trip Details: Ryukyu Islands Pre-trip Extension

  • Trip leaders: Kirk Hardie and Dan van den Broek
  • Early Bird discount: $3,395 members / $3,795 non-members
  • Deposit: $1,700
  • Single supplement: TBD
  • Group size: Limited to 11 participants

Trip fees include all ground transportation, double-occupancy lodging, breakfast/lunch/non-alcoholic beverages/snacks, tips for meals/drivers/porters/local guides, trip materials, entrance fees, excursions, and the services of your skilled leader(s). 

Trip fees do not include airfares, dinners, and alcoholic beverages.

Details

Start:
May 11, 2021
End:
May 29, 2021
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Tara Lemezis
Phone:
971-222-6131
Email:
tlemezis@audubonportland.org