Japan 160125 Arasaki Crane Center

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160125

In my room, no 205, in Akune it was cold. And the Japanese bed had only pillows stuffed with peas, I think it was. My head did not like it so I took one of the  seat cushions and had it over the pillow. Then I could sleep. I woke up at 5.30 as we were to leave the hotel for an early photo session at a bridge close to the Arasaki Crane Center. And we wanted to be there when the sun was rising and the cranes started to fly. 

It was one of those mornings you wish everyone could experience. We were standing on the top of the bridge overlooking the fields and the mountains behind them. In our backs there was a small village and mountains behind it. To our left there was some water. I don´t know if it was the edge of the ocean or a large lake. Probably the sea between Japan and China. 

When the light started to come so did the cranes. It was wonderful.

After about 2 h we headed back to the hotel for breakfast.

Japanese style.

When we were ready to go back to the Arasaki Crane Center it had started to snow again. The kind of Christmas snow with large flakes. When we left the hotel a couple of woman waved at us. :) 

When we arrived at the Center it was closed. It turned out that the staff was not able to come to work due to the unusual weather conditions. It was 10 cm snow on the parking lot and a bit more on the land. It seemed that the people did like the snow though.

 I noticed snow men and woman everywhere. At the Center they had made a large snow woman. But the shops were closed. So I guess the snow woman was guarding the place. 

There was lots of cranes in the area. Both in the fenced area where they fed them and outside. I learned that the fields were use for rice production in summer and as a sanctuary for the cranes in winter. That way they made money from tourists in winter. 

As I walked around the area checking things out I noticed a few men on top of the building. One of them said: there is a ladder on the side, you can use it to come up here and get a good view of the cranes. It was not easy to climb the ladder, then climbing over the fence with a locked gate, to get to the stairs. Carrying the backpack and camera. But I made it and got myself a good laugh. You should have seen me. :)

After taking a good look at the cranes from the top veranda, normally one could access the roof from inside the center, I had to take the same way back down. I made it without getting hurt or anything. 

There was so many cranes, some small birds and for raptors there was kites.  And for the most part of the day it was still snowing. We only made a break to get to a Convenience store to buy some lunch that we ate in the bus. 

When it darkened we headed back to the hotel for dinner. It was possible to take a bath in the Onsen, a hot spring bath, but I settled for a shower. And to upload all images to the computer. 

The dinner was Japanese style. Lots of small dishes and cooking pots on the table. The same kind of dishes as in the morning. I am not a "fishperson" but I tasted every dish I was offered. Most of them with seafood. 

After dinner I went to the Onsen. A hot spring bath. Nude only. But nowadays men and woman was separated so everybody could go and take a bath. It was nice. First you clean yourself, then you relax in the hot water. With a little smell of sulfur. There was also a bath outdoors with snow around it for the brave ones.

It will be another early morning tomorrow so I got to sleep early. 

View from the bridge close to Arasaki

I have made some artwork from that day. Follow the links below:
Watching sunise  Lonely reflection  White-naped Crane

Linking up with;  Sky Watch Friday   GOOD FENCES

Japan on NF Photo  NF Birds around the world   

25/1: Heldag i  Arasaki Crane Center. Natt i Akune 
Gårdagens blåsiga oväder hade dragit bort under natten, så en helt stilla och ganska klar morgon mötte oss! Marken var täckt med snö, vilket är väldigt ovanligt här. Vi startade morgonen med att besöka Arasaki Crane Center innan frukost, för tranfotografering i det fina morgonljuset där solen steg upp över bergen i fjärran. I området övervintrar mängder med tranor och i år mer än någonsin, då det räknats in rekordhöga 17 000 tranor. Mest munktranor, men även många vackra glasögontranor och en liten grupp prärietranor.

Efter en sväng tillbaka till hotellet för frukost återvände vi till trancentrat och stannade sedan i området hela dagen för att fylla minneskorten med tranbilder i alla tänkbara ljus, bakgrunder och positioner. 1 vanlig trana och 4 prärietranor sågs bland alla munk- och glasögontranor. Mycket andra fåglar också så klart, som tex större turturduva, japansk bulbyl, bruntrast, hedpiplärka, svartryggad rödstjärt, japansk glasögonfågel och rödkindad sparv. Efter kvällens middag i japansk stil passade många på att prova ett hett bad,
 onsen. Skönt och välgörande efter en lång dag i fält! 


  1. wow! that must have been something!!!

  2. How exciting it must have been to see all those cranes. I bet it would have been fun watching you climb over the fence to head up to the roof too. :o)

  3. Wonderful shots, Monica. Japan is still on my "to go" list!
    Thanks for taking part in the Travel Tuesday meme, hope to see you again there this week.


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