• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birding around Nagoya and Kyoto (1 Viewer)

Finbirder

Well-known member
Hi!

I have one week vacation in Japan on March 2016.Flights are to Nagoya and we are planning to see at least Kyoto also. I'd like to have your advice about places worth seeing in birding perspective around or in these Cities. I don't have much knowledge of Japanese birds yet so all advice is welcome. I have been birding in South-east Asia and Europe so all East Asian and Japanese species are interesting for me.

Another question, what kind of field Guide would you suggest when going to Japan? Is Mark Brazil's Birds of East Asia good?

All the Best

-Finbirder
 

Petri

Well-known member
From another Finn

The Brazil guide is good for Japan, currently the best alternative, I would say.

In regard to sites, it all depends on which species you are looking for. For forest birds, and peaceful walks in nature, I would suggest going to the mountains. Keep in mind that many places are fast to reach by Shinkansen trains. It will probably consume more time to travel within the big cities than visit the rural areas.
 

Finbirder

Well-known member
Thank you for your advice Petri

I'll order Brazil's book and start learning. I Still have lots of time to get to know the birds of Japan beforehand. :t:

I will be travelling with my wife (so there will also be a lot of other things than birdwatching). Basically I would just like to get the most out of the new species out there and also enjoy the sights at the same time. The mountains certainly sounds like one good option to visit.

There seems to be at least one site with lots of information about Kyoto surroundings that will be worth reading: http://birdingkyoto.blogspot.jp/
 

Petri

Well-known member
In regard to culture, the spirit of Japan may not necessarily be discovered at the well known sights. A visit in a small town, a village perhaps, walking around and stopping at a supermarket, and commuting in less crowded local trains may help in discovering it, in connection with walking the forest trails, which may include ancient tombs and temples, as well. That is where many Japanese go to rediscover their spiritual roots. The forests of Nagano region, for example, are not far from Kyoto.
 

bfoutch

Well-known member
Last edited:

Ian Hay

Well-known member
My wife is from Nagoya and her family still lives their.

From a western stand point it is very hard to find the 'real' Japan. The place is very cluttered with signs, power lines and vending machines everywhere.

Kyoto has nice parts but as a city is more like Birmingham or Glasgow than York or Edinburgh, the area by the river on the western edge is nice and the scenic train ride and river trip is enjoyable, a good place to see real Mandarin Ducks in the rapids. On a walk around this area you will get most of the usual stuff - Varied Tit, Pigmy Woodpecker, Gosebeak etc.

My very strong recommendation is the Kiso valley and in particular the villages of Magome and Tsumago they are simply stunning. You can get the train from Nagoya to Tsumago then a bus over to Magome. Explore the towns, which have been managed so that from the main street all the cables and vending machines are hidden (I have seen nowhere else like this in Japan including world heritage sites), then get a bus or taxi to the top of the pass that separates the two towns.

From the top of the pass there is a fantastic walk down hill of maybe 4miles back to Tsumago. It is well sign posted and passes though woodland, along the edge of a fast river and though small fields. On a weekend the locals open up an old house and give out tea by an open fire. Also you are unlikely to see many other people so you could see a lot of wildlife.

Nagano is very good but a bit further away and trip to the mountains of a Japanese Alps National Park is well worth doing.

Nagoya Castle is also worth a visit and I have seen Japanese Green Woodpecker in the grounds.

Sorry if I seam a bit down on the place, I like taking photos so notice things that get in the way of a good shot more than most.

All the best

Ian
 

Finbirder

Well-known member
Thanks so much for excellent information! This will be a lot of help for me when planning the details of the journey. We have only one week in Japan. I don't wanna be in too much hurry to run around the places but I think we'll certainly visit some of these suggested places.
 

Finbirder

Well-known member
The trip to Japan is done and pretty happy with everything! People are very kind and there are lots of interesting areas in many ways. Got 57 species and 21 lifers on a tourist trip with wife.

Some ideas in case some one is planning a trip of this kind etc.

Nagoya castle - nice place with a lot of common local birds. Also one mute swan, wild or not?

Magome - beautiful area, unfortunately we were bit late and had time only to spend in Magome and not other villages too.meadow bunting , daurian redstart, varied tit..brown dipper from train at Ena.

Kyoto, Maruyama park - a good surprise! We randomly checked this place and had elegant bunting, japanese grosbeak, pale and dusky thrush, black-faced bunting, japanese pygmy woodpecker...the best area was where the park connects with the mountain.

Arashyama - nice place and lots of common birds. The garden is nice and has some birds although it costs to enter.

Mukaijima fields - did not hold anything but one bull headed shrike and skylarks

Fushimi Inari shrine - you should try to go early bacause it's very crowded. Didnt see any birds there except heard Japanese Bush Warbler that was common in the area.

The bridge over the river at Sanjo station, Kyoto - we regularly walked over this bridge and saw Asian House martins, great egret, spot-billed duck, little egret, a lot of black kites.

All the best!
-Finbirder
 
Last edited:

Alexjh1

Well-known member
Congratulations, sounds like you had a good trip, and you got a good number of species I missed when I was there (and did many of those same sites).

I may be wrong on this, but my impression of Mute Swans in Japan is they are escapees or feral?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top