Japan 160131 Tsurui - Kawayu

Japan 160122-160204
Bird Photography trip

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© NF Photos 160131

The first day of our trip when we did not wake up in the middle of the night.
Our departure from the hotel was scheduled at 8.30. So I had a little time to take a look at the street outside the hotel in Tsurui. The interesting thing I had seen was that there was steam coming out from the sides of the street. So I think there was hot spring water flowing under the side of the street.

The breakfast was very tasty and I liked it a lot. We were also given a gift in form of calendars for this year from the hotel. There was two very beautiful calendars in the roll and they featured the Red-crowned cranes of course   :)

Today we are going north but first we made a stop at the Crane center in Tsurui to get some last morning images of the cranes. A man was preparing breakfast for the cranes but none was there. They were still at the river. But instead I spotted a Coal Tit. you can see it HERE

So we headed north to find our first target. An Ural owl (slaguggla)  that was sitting in a tree. An easy find if you know it is there. But, that is the reason why you have a local guide. We had to walk about 200 m in the snow to find it sitting in a hole in a tree.

After lunch at a restaurant with Japanese version  of pizza, we made a stop at Lake Mashu. Which was a volcano lake. It was very beautiful and had a gorgeous surrounding with snowy trees and mountains. In the sun it was almost too beautiful.

Our last stop for the day was Lake Kussharo where we were looking for mute swans in the mist from hot streams. A well known lake for that kind of shots. But I was a bit disappointed. The misty areas was very small with a rather small area of open water. But I soon realized that the images tricks you to think it is bigger. Nevertheless it was a nice place for photography. Two different locations with the surrounding mountains. 
A beautiful light in the low sun

Dancing Queens

The second place, with a center, had very strange icy features. And there the swans started to dance. Did look hilarious as they had to dance on those sharp icy edges. 
We did also see a male Falcated duck (praktand).

Night in a hotel in Kawayu. We had a party like dinner. Very nice. Even if I think the Japanese kitchen use too little spice. We met in a separate room dressed in the common clothing that was provided in every room we had so far on the trip. Coming back to the room after dinner my bed was set on the floor.

It´s a bit tricky sitting on the floor eating and working. Not used to it anymore.

Tomorrow we move again.

Whooper swans and ducks on Lake Kussharo

Japan on NF Photo  NF Birds around the world   

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31/1: Morgonen vid Tsurui Ito Tancho Crane Sanctuary. Transport norrut genom Akan National Park,

med stopp vid Lake Mashu. Kvällen vid Lake Kussharo (sångsvanarna). Natt i Kawayu.

Efter ett kort inledande besök vid trancentrat i Tsurui körde vi vidare norrut. Först stoppet blev för foto av en fin slaguggla på dagkvist. Vi fortsatte norrut längs vackra Akan National Park i ett härligt vinterväder, med en värmande sol, blå himmel och gnistrande snö. Längs vägen sågs flera jättehavsörnar samt japanska sikahjortar.

Efter lunch stannade vi vid
 Lake Mashu för landskapsfotografering. Ett vackert landskap bredde ut sig framför oss, med vulkansjön och omkringliggande berg. Dagen avslutades med sångsvansfotografering i Lake Kussharo. Sjön måste vara ett av världens bästa ställe att fotografera sångsvan på! Svanarna ligger i små isvakar på sjön, där varmt vatten sipprar ut så det ryker i kylan och bildar dimridåer runt svanarna. Detta magiska scenario och med en vacker bakgrund med snöklädda berg, gav väldigt vackra bilder i det fina kvällsljuset! Där fanns även praktand och Crested Kingfisher.


  1. That must have been an amazing experience! The swans look so graceful.

  2. I honestly did not think that Japan would be a good destination for bird watching. How wrong was I.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  3. Amazing place to see the birds. Great experience.

  4. I too am surprised at what a great place for birding Japan is. And what a different and wonderful experience.

  5. I love swans and your images are gorgeous.

  6. Beautiful country, and it would be neat to have hot springs available. Thanks Monica, for making me aware that your travels were on a separate page! I didn't want to miss this:) Have a wonderful week!

  7. More beautiful photos. The swam photos are stunning.

  8. What an adventure you are having, and taking the most wonderful photos.They are all beautiful captures. I laughed at the bed on the floor, as I remember well those beds, and especially the wooden pillows,from a holiday we had in Kyoto.
    A Happy Easter to you.

  9. Verkligen fina bilder och roligt att läsa berättelsen också.


  10. What a wonderful experience! I have always been fascinated by Japan. The swan images are gorgeous!

  11. Hello, what an awesome trip! The owl is so cute and the swans are beautiful. I love the view of the lake, pretty scenery! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend, Happy Easter to you and your family.

  12. Lovely travel, amazing place and aspects captured. A very interesting experience!
    best regards in April!


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