Monday 30th January - Tuesday 14th February 2012
Our second Wild Images tour around our truly spectacular Japan in winter circuit was another stunning success. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this tour not only lived up to our expectations but exceeded them! Japan is a marvellously fascinating country in which to travel, and this in itself added an extra dimension to the journey, as we were able to experience the incredibly different culture and exquisitely prepared food (though not always to everyone’s taste!) alongside our other objectives. It was however the incredible series of photographic spectacles which thrilled us most. The tone was set with the wonderful snow monkeys in their glorious wintry landscape, and the thrills just kept coming. Hokkaido provided many of the most memorable times such as the Red-crowned Cranes of Kushiro which danced and trumpeted for us. We were fortunate with some wonderful conditions at their roost and watched them sparring with White-tailed Eagles for the fish that had been thrown out for them. The extremely cold temperatures did not deter us (though the cameras complained as did the fingers and toes occasionally) and we also had marvellous times with some incredibly obliging and photogenic Whooper Swans. Around Rausu, the sea and ice conditions were more or less perfect, and we enjoyed some amazing boat trips where we were quite literally surrounded by hungry Steller’s and White-tailed Sea Eagles!! In the evenings we tried our luck at photographing the world’s largest owl, the Blakiston’s Fish Owl, and wanderings elsewhere on the island yielded more photographic highlights. We ended the tour on the more southerly island of Kyushu. Strangely 10,000 cranes was almost an anti-climax. They were still fantastic but we missed the snow and winter landscapes. These were just the highlights, but there was far, far more to remember!
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