Our Highlights of Japan tour during spring takes in the very best of what Japan has to offer during this fabulous time of year when all the country’s resident species and summer migrants are present and actively singing, displaying and nesting – indeed a magical time to visit ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’.

The wetlands and forests on Honshu support the extremely localized Japanese Marsh Warbler, Japanese Reed Bunting, Long-billed Plover, Latham’s Snipe, endemic Copper and Japanese Green Pheasants, Japanese Green Woodpecker, Japanese Yellow Bunting, Japanese and Brown-headed Thrushes, Japanese Grosbeak and Japanese Accentor, all of which will be targets on this trip. On the offshore island of Miyake-jima we hope to find the richly coloured and endemic Izu Thrush and Owston’s Tit, while other specialties include Japanese Wood Pigeon, Styan’s Grasshopper Warbler and Ijima’s Leaf Warbler. We conclude the main part of this Japan Spring Highlights tour in the Ryukyu Islands where we spend our time on the small islands of Okinawa and Amami in search of a host of exciting endemics and near-endemics. The endangered Okinawa (Pryer’s) Woodpecker recently discovered and highly threatened Okinawa Rail, stunning Ryukyu & Okinawa Robins, Ryukyu Minivet, Amami Woodcock, Lidth’s Jay and Amami Thrush are just some of the islands’ tantalizing species that we will be searching for during our explorations there!

Top Birds

Okinawa Rail; Lidth's Jay; Copper & Japanese Green Pheasants; Japanese Murrelet; Ryukyu Minivet; Amami Woodcock; Ryukyu Scops Owl; Ryukyu Flycatcher; Ryukyu & Okinawa Robins; Long-billed Plover; Latham’s Snipe; Japanese Pygmy & Okinawa Woodpeckers; Japanese Yellow Bunting; Izu, Amami, Japanese & Brown-headed Thrushes; Japanese Grosbeak; Japanese Accentor; Owston’s Tit; Japanese Wood Pigeon; Ijima’s Leaf Warbler; Japanese Marsh Warbler; Styan’s Grasshopper Warbler; Japanese Reed Bunting.

Top Mammals

Amami Rabbit.

Habitats Covered

temperate broad-leaved and coniferous forest, lakes, pelagic, coastline, wetlands and grasslands

Expected Climate

warm sunny days, can be a little cool in the evenings

Max Group Size

12 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader

Tour Pace & Walking

moderate pace, undemanding walks


comfortable minshukus (guest houses) & hotels

Ease of Birding


Photographic Opportunities

good to very good

What our clients say about us

Glen Valentine
DB & PB, Japan

Glen, as usual, was the best. This is our third trip with him and would not hesitate to do many more.

Erik Forsyth
BS, Japan 2023

Wonderful experience with Erik Forsyth and Bryan despite challenging weather conditions. The lodging was very comfortable. The birds were fantastic.

Erik Forsyth
PS, Japan 2018

The birding and bird vocalisation skills of Erik Forsyth and local guide Bryan Shirley are simply outstanding. So far, I've probably met only 2 guides who were only just about as good as these two!

David Hoddinott
DD - Japan 2024

Outstanding trip with excellent leadership. Could not have asked for a better experience.

Erik Forsyth
MW, Japan 2018

This trip was quite an experience: Earthquakes, an erupting volcano, a major blizzard, raw fish and squid for breakfast, some incredible dining experiences, great scenery, and a wicked lot of fantastic birds! Erik Forsyth did a very good job with the tour. He was a bit more laid back than I am used to, but we really had good luck with the birds. A lot of that also had to do with Bryan Shirley, who is also an excellent guide. Erik and Bryan made a great team and appeared to really enjoy the trip, which was infectious for the rest of the group.

Japan - Spring Highlights 2025

14 May 2025 - 24 May 2025 (11 days)

JPY720,000 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth


Tour Leader: Local Leader

Pricing notes : *Prices are estimated and dates may change*

Tour price (Per person): JPY720,000 * USD4,598 * GBP3,529 * EUR4,202 * AUD6,823

Can be linked with: Japan - Hokkaido Extension 2025

Japan - Spring Highlights 2026

13 May 2026 - 23 May 2026 (11 days)

JPY748,800 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Local Leader


Tour Leader: Paul Varney

Pricing notes : *Prices are estimated and dates may change*

Tour price (Per person): JPY748,800 * USD4,782 * GBP3,670 * EUR4,371 * AUD7,096

Can be linked with:

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Route Map

Tour Route Map