The 8 BEST Birding Tours in Japan! (2023)
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.
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 excursions are more relaxed and integrate other wildlife and cultural experiences. Each tour is unique, and none are better or worse. It depends on what YOU want (or what your spouse 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. 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!
- Or fill out this form below, and it will get sent directly to Rockjumper!
Lastly, Rockjumper donates a minimum of $50 per scheduled tour to a conservation fund to support bird projects worldwide.
#2. Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
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.
#3. WINGS Birding Tours
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.
#4. Naturalist Journeys
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.
Do you still have additional questions? The owner and founder, Peg Abbott, is still actively involved in the company and is available to answer all of your questions!
#5. Field Guides Birding Tours
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.
#6. 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.
- View details HERE – Bamboo forests, origami classes, incredible food, etc.
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!
- Are you looking to go to Disney World, Univeral Studios, or go on a Disney Cruise soon? If so, check out my list of AUTHORIZED Disney Vacation planners HERE. They will help save you time, headaches, and, best of all, MONEY. 🙂
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.
#7. Tropical Birding
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. Here are a few of their options, which show the diversity of birding trips you can plan in Japan!
- A photo tour of Japanese birds – Perfect if you want a guide that spends additional time letting you take pictures.
- A WINTER birding trip: Japan is famous for its incredible winter wildlife. You can expect to see the massive winter gatherings of Stellar’s Sea Eagles, the famous Red-crowned Cranes, and even Japanese Macaques!
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. You can see a list of their current guides here.
Tropical Birding almost always receives excellent reviews from those who have traveled with them. You can view their current trip schedule to Japan on their website.
#8. G Adventures
If you have gotten to the end and haven’t found any birding trips in Japan that you’re excited about, then G Adventures may be the perfect option.
First, you should know that G Adventures doesn’t offer trips that specifically look for birds. Instead, they focus on ADVENTURE TRAVEL. If you want to explore Japan while having an incredible amount of fun, you should check them out.
For example, when this post was published, there were 9 different trips and itineraries available in Japan to choose from! Not only do most of the adventures provide the opportunity to see wildlife, but they also mix in various cultural experiences.
G Adventures is a great option if you are looking to maximize fun instead of seeing as many birds as possible. I’d also recommend that you are physically active. And please note that most trips require kids to be at least 12 years old.
Final Thoughts About Birding Tour Companies in Japan:
I hope today that you found a birding tour in Japan that intrigues you. 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.