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Wildlife Locations

Stretching over 2,200 kilometres from north to south, Japan’s landscape is both vast and varied. In the snow-filled valleys of Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japanese macaques warm themselves in hot-springs, whilst the more temperate climes of Kyushu attract thousands of migrating cranes.  

1 recommended location:

Jigokudani Monkey Park (Hell’s Valley)

Jigokudani Monkey Park offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild Japanese macaques bathing in natural hot springs. Located deep in the forests of the Jigokudani Valley near Yamanouchi, the springs provide welcome relief from the freezing winter temperatures.

  • Ideal for viewing: Japanese macaque (snow monkey)
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Japan offers an incredibly diverse range of wildlife and landscapes, from Hokkaido Island in the north - home to huge Steller’s sea eagles and dancing Japanese cranes - to the snow-covered hills of the Japanese Alps where you can find Japanese macaques bathing in the steaming hot springs. 

1 recommended trip. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Japan’s Winter Wildlife

This highlight-packed 11-day itinerary reveals Japan’s most unique and renowned wildlife spectacles - large flocks of Steller’s sea eagles, dancing Japanese cranes, Blakiston’s fish owl, and the bizarre sight of Japanese macaques bathing in steaming hot springs – creating a photographic extravaganza.

  • When to go: Jan-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

When to go

The weather in Japan enjoys four distinct seasons, with spring bringing mild weather and blossoming cherry trees, followed by a hot and humid summer. October offers a good time to travel with lower humidity and pleasant temperatures, and trees start to show their beautiful autumn colours.  Winter in Japan offers perhaps the best wildlife photography opportunities, with clear skies and crisp, cold air.


  • Spring

    Apr to May: A pleasant time to visit, with mild weather and trees blossoming. Cherry-blossom time is often followed closely by showers.
  • Summer

    Jun to Aug: Typically hot and very humid, with the exception of the mountains and the northern island of Hokkaido.
  • Autumn

    Sep to Oct: September has the greatest risk of typhoons. October is a good time for travelling with warm temperatures.
  • Winter

    Nov to Mar: The northern island of Hokkaido and the Japan Alps get a lot of snow. The weather is usually clear, crisp and very cold.

Wildlife events

  • Nov to Mar:

    Steller’s sea eagles over-winter on Hokkaido 

  • Apr to May:

    Red-crowned (Japanese) cranes breed