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JAPAN in Early Summer

Hokkaido Nature Tour June 2020

This tour is fully booked

Small group nature expedition of Hokkaido island

14 Days – 14 June – 27 June, 2020

Experience Birdwatching, National parks, Wild Flowers & Wildlife

Sunrise 2 Day, 3Days, 4Days highlight Short Guided Tour

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SUNDAY, 14 JUNE 2020 Arrive in Tokyo

Fly in to Tokyo Narita airport today.

Stay tonight at Haneda Tokyu Hotel, a 4 star western style hotel located inside of Haneda Airport.    

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MONDAY, 15 JUNE ( B D ) Koshimizu Wild Flower park, Lake Tofutsu and Shiretoko Peninsula

At breakfast this morning in our hotel, meet with your Japanese Tour Manager, Mrs Mayumi Gray, as well as our other tour guests.

After breakfast we fly from Haneda Airport to Memanbestsu Airport on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. This flight is included in your tour price.

 Commence our tour along the Sea of Okhotsk we visit Lake Tofutsu, a seven kilometre long shallow lagoon attractive to many shorebirds. Walk amongst the dunes behind the beach through Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden. This 275 ha nature reserve stretches 8 km along the coast and is full of wild Rosa Rugosa and and Fritillaria ( Chocolate Lily ).

Last stop for today is at Oshinkoshin Waterfall, where we have previously had good sightings of White-tailed Eagle.

Weather permitting, we plan to go spotlighting tonight with a park ranger, looking for nocturnal animals.  Keep an eye out for Brown Bear, Sika Deer, Japanese Tanuki, Red Fox and owls. Stay tonight in a Modern Japanese Inn, built literally on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. Watch the peaceful, sunset as you relax in the hot spa looking over Utoro harbour.
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TUESDAY, 16 JUNE ( B D ) Shiretoko Five Lakes

Early breakfast then discover natures treasures along Japan’s World Heritage Listed Site, Shiretoko Peninsula, a mountainous wilderness protruding into the Sea of Okhotsk.  First we meet our contact  from  the  Shiretoko  Nature  Protection  Society  at  the Shiretoko Interpretive Centre, to learn a few facts about the region, its flora and fauna.  From here we continue to the Five Lakes Conservation Area, to enjoy a walk with a park ranger  through part of the protected habitat.   

Take a boat cruise close to Shiretoko`s sheer rocky cliffs to observe colonies of sea birds including cormorants, gulls and Spectacled Guillemot and maybe even Brown Bear, as we did on our last two tours.    

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WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE ( B D ) Abashiri, Monbetsu , Omusaro Wild Flower Field

Tour through forests, rolling farmlands and small rural towns as we drive to the coast to the Port of Abashiri. At the Abashiri Drift Ice Museum we meet the curator and discover how the sea freezes here in winter. Enjoy a wide screen theatre presentation of The Sea Of Okhotsk in 4 Seasons.

Visit Omusaro Primeval Flower Garden, a nature conservation project of Monbetsu city. Here just north eastern part of Asahikawa city we find a 1 km long Rosa Rugosa field along the beach of the Sea of Okhotsk.

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THURSDAY, 18 JUNE ( B D ) Sarobetsu Wetland

Sarobetsu Wetland Garden is a wild flower conservation area located outside of Wakkanai city, in the southern part of Sarobetsu Plain, and is part of Rishiri Rebun Sarobetsu National Park. Visit Wakasanai Enchi Park Observation Deck where wooden paths of about 1.5 km total length lead across the primeval garden. 

This is a good place to see magnificent Mt. Rishirifuji. Here too we can visit the Peat Industry Building, a Dredge, Museum and Shop.

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FRIDAY, 19 JUNE ( B D) Teuri Island, Night Bird Watching

After breakfast we will join local naturalist Mr Nomura and take a ferry cross to Teuri Island. Before depart to Island we will have a Video presentation of Island and sea birds information by Nature Live.


Teuri Island is located in the Sea of Japan 30 km west of Haboro Port in the Rumoi Sub-prefecture in Hokkaido. The island has an area of 5.5 square kilometres, with a 12 km coastline and a population of 317 people. It is said that the name of the island comes from the Ainu language, interpreted as “fish back”.

The island’s cliff lined northwest coast serves as a breeding ground for common guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet, Spectacled Guillemot, Japanese Cormorant, and Slaty-backed Gull.  Teuri island was appointed as a Natural Monument and now is now known as “Teuri Island seabird breeding ground” . On March 31, 1982, Teuri island was designated part of the Wildlife Protection Areas in Japan.

After World War II, Hokkaido began a land restoration project of reafforestation. The island is now designated as part of the Shokanbetsu-Teuri-Yagishiri Quasi National Park for one of the must see places in Japan for nature lovers.

Tonight we will have a night tour to see thousands of Rhinoceros Auklet coming back from the sea.

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SATURDAY, 20 JUNE ( B D ) Teuri Island Sea Bird Cruise

Before breakfast we will take a Fishman’s boat cruise around Teuri Island, another wonderful opportunity to photograph more sea birds and Seals.  

After our boat trip we will have a breakfast then walk around the Island to visit Akaiwa Observatory, looking at nests of Rhinoceros Auklet, Spectacled Guillemot and Common Murre. 

Near the boat dock we will also visit Umi No Uchukan an interpretive centre and display of local wildlife photography by Takaki Terasawa.  

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SUNDAY, 21 JUNE ( B D ) Haboro and Asahikawa

After breakfast we will take a ferry back to the mainland port of Haboro then tour to Asahikawa.

Enroute we visit Ueno farm and flower garden which is listed as one of 12 beautiful flower garden in Hokkaido. This is a small obscure garden, with an abundance of impressive flowers.

There is a short walk up hill to a vantage point for good viewing of Daisetsuzan National Park and the surrounding farmlands.

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MONDAY, 22 JUNE ( B D ) Tenninkyo and Asahidake

Today we visit Tenninkyo in Daisetsuzan National Park to see two waterfalls that are the highlight of this area.  Here is a great opportunity to photograph the 270 metre Hagoromo Waterfall and the Shikishima Waterfall . Along the various local hiking trails you will be able to observe local birdlife. 

Next destination is Asahidake, the tallest mountain in Hokkaido ( 2,290m ) located in the Daisetsu Mountain Range. Here we find spectacular scenery and hiking trails that are a magnet for visitors to enjoy the fresh summer environment. 

You might like to take the Asahi Ropeway that climbs to 1,600m above sea level.

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TUESDAY, 23 JUNE ( B D ) Furano, Sapporo Botanical Gardens, Odori Park

Tour through the multi coloured patchwork fields around Furano, famous for its lavender farms and seasonal flowers with millions of blooms destined for flower markets around Japan.

The Furano Valley is nestled between the Tokachi Volcanic Mountain Range, part of the Daisetsuzan National Park, and the Yubari cluster of summits, including Ashibetsu Peak. The Sorachi and Furano Rivers, both tributaries of the Ishikari River, meet within the city limits. Furano is located at the exact geographic centre of Hokkaido.

Next we head to Sapporo, capital city of Hokkaido.  Free time to wander through the city centre’s Odori Park with its fountains and flower filled gardens. Alternatively you might like to go shopping in the Underground Shopping Streets, go up Sapporo Tower for a birds eye view of Sapporo or visit the Sapporo Botanic Gardens, established in 1886. Here you will see several early Hokkaido Homes and the original Natural History Museum from the 1800’s as well as 4,000 species of plants.

Tonight we include an all included buffet dinner at the famous Sapporo Beer Hall.

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WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE ( B D ) Sapporo to Onuma Quasi National Park

Tour along the shores of Uchiura Bay to Lake Onuma Quasi National Park with its majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake.

In the afternoon we walk around the birch, oak, alder and maple forest trails to see placid scenes across the lakes, as well as do a little bird watching for Black Woodpeckers, Arctic Warbler and Mandarin Duck. 

Stay tonight at Prince Hotel Onuma

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THURSDAY, 25 JUNE ( B D ) Onuma to Hakodate

Attached to our hotel is a golf course and 3 km long nature trail, perfect for early morning bird watching and nature walks. In October the trees are awash with red and yellow autumn foliage thanks to the silver birch, maple and other deciduous trees. A mother fox and her cubs were seen playing here during our last visit.

Travel to historic Hakodate one of the first cities in Japan open to foreigners after the Meiji Restoration. Hakodate has some of the most authentic and best preserved historic buildings in Japan. Visit Goryokaku, Japan’s first western-style fort. Built in 1864 by the Tokugawa Shogunate, in the shape of a five-pointed star, it is the only construction of this kind in Japan. The surrounding moat and defensive grounds are now a city park and gardens.

We next take a walk and drive around Motomachi area, overlooking the western bay. Here numerous sloping streets are lined with 19th century churches, former consulates, shops and homes of the foreigners, who first opened this area of Japan to commerce. You might like to rest your legs a while in the Old British Consulate, over scones and tea. 

See the Old Magistrate’s Office, a fine fully restored example of Meiji Restoration Period architecture, the Old Russian Byzantine Church, Catholic Church, Trappist Convent (ca 1898 ) that still has 70 nuns, Chinese Memorial Hall and the original Town Hall.  The former Public Hall of Hakodate, the old Hakodate Meijikan Post Office and a former Branch of the Hokkaido Government were all built in late 19th century Western style. 

Last visit today is to Mt Hakodate from where you can look down upon the twinkling lights that surround Hakodate Bay.

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FRIDAY, 26 JUNE ( B ) Hakodate to Tokyo

Visit the Hakodate Morning Market where the freshest seafood and farm produce is available for sale and sample.

Fly from Hakodate Airport to Tokyo this afternoon. This flight is included in your tour price. After arriving in Tokyo you have free time for last minute shopping and sightseeing. 
 
Stay tonight in The Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba Hotel, located in futuristic Odaiba area looking across Tokyo Bay. Here you are very close to 3 major undercover shopping complexes, Science Museum, Panasonic Showroom, Maritime Museum, Hama Rikyu Garden and The Yurikamomae Monorail stops virtually at the front door of our hotel.

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Saturday, 27 JUNE ( B ) Depart Japan

Your tour services will finish after breakfast this morning. We recommend that you transfer to Tokyo Narita Airport by Airport Limousine Shuttle Bus

 

Something for everyone

This tour is designed for people who wish to discover the beauty and nature of Hokkaido Island.  Rarely visited by foreign tourists this is a vast island of wild coastal cliffs, extensive marshlands and forested mountains, a wonderful resource for birds, plants, animals and photogenic natural scenery. We visit on this tour, RAMSAR listed Sarobetsu Marsh, World Heritage listed Shiretoko Peninsula, Daisetsusan National Park, Island of Teuri. The island’s cliff-lined northwest coast serves as a breeding ground for, Rhinoceros Auklet and Spectacled Guillemot.

The historic port city of Hakodate with its well preserved Russian, British and Meiji Restoration Period architecture will also be visited on this Hokkaido tour.  

Best Wild Flowers & Birdlife

June in Hokkaido is characterised by fine warm weather moving in from Honshu, accompanied by the first waves of Summer migratory birds. We will be able to see many birds and wild flowers which we may not see on Honshu Island. 

Between Hokkaido and Honshu, the Tsugaru Strait forms a zoo-geographical border called the Blakiston Line, the southern limit of northern species, notably White-tailed Eagle, Japanese Crane, Blakiston`s Fish Owl, Grey-headed Woodpecker and Pine Grosbeak.  Keep your cameras ready as we might also encounter Brown Bear, Sable, Pika and Tanuki.

Transportation & Accommodation

The price of this tour includes your flight from Tokyo to Memanbetsu and your flight from Hakodate to Tokyo.

Enjoy the nature of Hokkaido in comfort and style. Our private charter coach will take you beyond the reach of public transport.

We will only accept 8 guests on this tour, but will be travelling in a private charter bus, to ensure that you have a comfortable journey.                       

Accommodation on this tour is in a mixture of Western hotels and Japanese ryokans, that have been specially chosen for their excellent locations, traditional Japanese dining experiences and Onsen spa baths.

Exclusive meetings with local nature experts

Special arrangements have been made for members of this tour to meet with members of several nature protection societies and curators of museums. Local nature experts will be with you on selected walks to help identify birds, plants and animals and to answer any questions you might have.

Members who do not wish to participate in all or any of the walks are welcome to pursue personal interests or enjoy less strenuous walks of a shorter distance.

This tour is fully booked

Inclusions:

  • Escorted by an Australian / Japanese Tour Manager
  • Touring in executive private charter coaches
  • Traditional Spa Ryokans + Deluxe Hotels
  • Meals: Daily breakfasts, 11 Dinners
  • Three national parks
  • Boat Cruise in Shiretoko National Park
  • Fishman’s boat cruise around Teuri Island
  • Multiple wildlife sightings
  • Entry fees to all attractions listed
  • Flight from Tokyo to Ozora on 15 Jun
  • Flight from Hakodate to Tokyo on 26 Jun
  • Compendium of maps and information

 

14 JUN 2020 – 27 JUN 2020

This tour is fully booked

Your domestic flights Tokyo to Memanbetsu and your flight from Hakodate to Tokyo are included.

NOTE :

 

Travel Insurance: It is a condition of travel on this tour that you possess appropriate comprehensive travel insurance.

Not Included: Additional sightseeing and entry fees, transfers, passport, excess baggage charges, laundry, tips, porterage, travel insurance, hotel service other than bed only, items of a personal nature, drinks and beverages.

Tour Changes: Modifications to the daily programme may occur due to weather, unforeseen circumstances, unexpected business commitments by our hosts or changes to accommodation, airline or other transportation schedules and equipment.

THIS IS NOT A COMMON TOURIST BUS TOUR, BUT A SOFT ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME. IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO ACCEPT WHATEVER JAPAN PRESENTS TO YOU, CAN NOT COPE WELL WITH UNEXPECTED CHANGES, HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS OR HAVE DIETARY LIMITATIONS, YOU MIGHT LIKE TO CHOOSE AN ALTERNATIVE TOUR. BY PAYING YOUR MONEY FOR THIS TOUR YOU ARE AGREEING TO ACCEPT THESE CONDITIONS.