8 BEST Birding Tours in Japan! (2024)

Are you looking to go on a birding adventure in Japan?

That’s wonderful news. But here’s the thing:

DECIDING to go on a bird-watching trip to Japan is the easy decision. The hardest part is finding a reputable company that you feel comfortable traveling with.

Below, I did my best to find 8 highly-rated companies that offer birding trips in Japan.

japan birding tours

Before picking a trip, make sure to pay attention to the itinerary! Some tours are for hardcore birders, where you can expect to be birding in Japan from sunrise to sunset. By comparison, other birding excursions are more relaxed and integrate other wildlife and cultural experiences. And lastly, some experiences in Japan are designed specifically for bird photography.

Each tour is unique, and none are better or worse. It depends on what YOU want (or what your traveling companion wants). 🙂

Lastly, please do your own independent research before selecting a birding trip in Japan!

My list is designed to point you in the right direction and narrow your choices. Before booking a trip, contact the companies directly to make sure they are a good fit for your travel needs.

#1. Birding Ecotours

Tell them Bird Watching HQ sent you and get $100 off your trip!

Birding Ecotours is one of the BEST birding tour companies that operate in Japan. They do a fantastic job of combining an incredible overall experience with a competitive price. Their typical birding tour focuses on small groups of between 6-8 people, along with staying at exceptional lodging.

You can see the upcoming trips that Birding Ecotours has planned to Japan HERE.

Their main trip to Japan is during winter when an incredible number and variety of birds gather here. And for most people, the highlights of the tour are these two events:

  • The huge gatherings of cranes, where you will see thousands of Hooded Cranes, White-naped Cranes, and Red-crowned Cranes. These enormous flocks sometimes contain Common Cranes, Demoiselle Cranes, Sandhill Cranes, or even the Critically Endangered Siberian Crane.
  • On the Shiretoko Peninsula, you will witness the massive accumulations of Steller’s Sea Eagles. They come here in the winter to hunt among the sea ice.

steller's sea eagle in japan

And don’t hesitate to talk to them about creating a custom birding tour in Japan just for you or your group. Creating unique trips that mark everything off your wish list is a lot of fun for the staff at Birding Ecotours.

Many of these trips are incredibly popular, so if you are interested, please fill out the form below, and Birding Ecotours will contact you directly to answer questions, discuss pricing, etc.

You can also send Chris and his team a message HERE.

Make sure to use the link above to receive the Bird Watching HQ discount! 🙂

*Some exclusions apply*

#2. Rockjumper Birding Tours

Rockjumper is one of the best birding tour companies in Japan.

Their stellar reputation comes from their commitment to quality trips led by excellent guides. The average ratio of tour leaders to guests is excellent, with most trips having a maximum of eight participants.

Rockjumper has birding tours in Japan for everyone. For example…

  • Check out the nearly 3-week winter birding tour to see the best that Japan has to offer! You will travel to multiple islands and ecosystems. Best birds include Blakiston’s Fish Owl, Ural Owl, Steller’s and White-tailed Sea Eagles, Red-crowned Crane, and White-naped Crane. But incredible mammals like the Japanese Macaque, Sika Deer, Spotted Seal, and Steller’s Sea Lion are often seen!
  • Visit Japan in spring to see an incredible amount of species, as all the summer migrants are present and nesting.
  • For the truly adventurous, you should consider the 29-day cruise that starts in New Zealand and ends in Japan. The amount of habitats and unique species, both birds and mammals, you will see is amazing.

Pay attention to the itinerary because some trips are designed to maximize the number of species observed, while others are more relaxed and allow time to enjoy other unique cultural aspects of a region. And if you can’t find anything that meets your needs, you can work with Rockjumper to design your own trip.

If you want to learn more about a specific tour in Japan, discuss pricing, or have other questions, it’s best to speak with Rockjumper Birding directly. They have a team of birding experts ready to help!

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Lastly, Rockjumper donates a minimum of $50 per scheduled tour to a conservation fund to support bird projects worldwide.

#3. Victor Emanuel Nature Tours

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Founded in 1976, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) has been leading birding trips for almost 50 years. The company is not only one of the best birding tour companies in Japan but also one of the most respected.

VENT is committed to ensuring every part of your trip is a success. From quality, fun tour leaders to an efficient office staff that handles logistics, you are being held with experienced and helpful hands.

No matter what birds you see in Japan, VENT should have a trip that makes you happy.

One thing that sticks out to me with VENT is their willingness over the years to give back. The company is strongly committed to eco-tourism, and they use local guides, drivers, and tour operators whenever possible.

#4. WINGS Birding Tours

birding vacation

If you are a serious birder and want an unforgettable adventure in Japan, then going on a trip with Wings Birding Tours might be a perfect choice. Many other companies on this list try to accommodate people with different interests and physical levels and include things to do on their trips that don’t involve birding.

Wings Birding Tours makes no such promises. They know their target market and try to appeal to them as best as possible. In fact, If you have never been on a bird-watching tour before, they recommend that you contact them first before booking to make sure it’s a good fit.

Almost all of their trips are designed to see birds, regardless of where or when they are to appear. So prepare to be up early and spend your days having incredible adventures and doing a lot of walking. Your trip may take you onto uneven terrain, through lush vegetation, or up and down countless hills.

If you are ready for a hardcore birding adventure in Japan, then make sure to check out their trip list. They typically have multiple tours scheduled that are approximately two weeks in length and take you to many different habitats and ecosystems within Japan.

#5. Naturalist Journeys

birding tour companies

Founded over 20 years ago, Naturalist Journeys offers numerous nature and birding tours to Japan and many other places around the globe. On their website, you can see a calendar of their upcoming birding trips to Japan.

A typical trip by Naturalist Journeys tries to incorporate different aspects to your adventure. The guides are not obsessed with seeing a bird just to check it off a list. Instead, the goal is to savor each experience by immersing yourself in the local Japanese culture while enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow travelers.

What’s neat is they also offer Independent Birding Ventures (IBVs), which are trips where YOU design the itinerary and pace yourself. You just tell Naturalist Journeys what you are looking for, and they plan the entire thing.

#6. Field Guides Birding Tours

birding tour companies

I can almost guarantee you will find your dream bird watching trip to Japan with Field Guides Birding Tours. They typically have multiple adventures that go to Japan every year.

I like that they have trips that cater to all interests, whether you are a hardcore birder who wants to see as many species as possible or someone who wants to do more than just birding. Pay close attention to each tour’s itinerary to make sure it’s a match for you.

#7. Adventures by Disney

Even though YOU may love birds and are excited to go on a Japanese birding trip, your spouse, friends, kids, etc., may not want to look for birds from sunrise to sunset. 🙂

So that’s why I have included Adventures by Disney. They offer an amazing FAMILY vacation package that visits Japan.

Using Adventures by Disney is perfect if you want an amazing adventure with your family in Japan that is safe and well-planned. Just by being in Japan, you will see many types of birds. But the emphasis on the trip is definitely not seeing wildlife. Instead, it’s about experiencing Japanese culture to the fullest.

If you are interested in traveling to Japan, you should use an authorized Disney travel agent.

First, you will get help from someone who has lots of experience planning these sorts of trips. Second, it doesn’t cost you anything. In fact, a Disney-authorized travel agent can usually find a better deal and save you hundreds of dollars!

Adventures by Disney is the best way to see birds in Japan if you want to take along kids or people that don’t want to go birding every day.

#8. Tropical Birding

bird watching tours, trips, and vacations


Tropical Birding offers birding adventures in Japan for a few different interest levels, from hardcore birders to someone looking for a more relaxed photography trip. Their logistics team can also organize a custom tour in Japan to satisfy everyone in your group’s interest.

A considerable part of what makes or breaks a birding trip is your guide. Tropical Birding prides itself on its full-time professional tour leaders. Their guides promise to bring as much joy as possible to every trip. They do this by seeing as many birds and wildlife as possible but also having fun in the process.

Tropical Birding almost always receives excellent reviews from those who have traveled with them.

Final Thoughts About Birding Tour Companies in Japan:

birding tours in japan

I hope today that you found a birding tour in Japan that intrigues you. I did my best to find a variety of companies that offer many different birding experiences, including many Japanese trips that cater to bird photography.

The next step is contacting the company directly and deciding the best option for your adventure!


I’d love your feedback below if you have gone on a birding trip before in Japan.

birding tours in japan

What company did you travel with, and where did you go?

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