Kagoshima

Unique winter trip to a place with most cranes in Japan

Winter, get close to wildlife

Rice paddies of Izumi

Every year from October to March, over 10,000 cranes come from Siberia to spend the winter in the rice paddies of Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture. Until now, up to seven kinds of cranes have been counted that come here, and this area has the greatest number of cranes that come to Japan. The cranes and this area in Kagoshima Prefecture have been designated as a special natural treasure of Japan.

About 80% of the world’s hooded cranes fly here

Among the cranes that come here, the largest number is the hooded crane with about 11,000 birds. It is said that over 80% of the world’s hooded cranes come to Izumi for the winter. The next largest group is the white-naped crane with about 300 birds. About half of the world’s white-naped cranes come here. In addition, pretty much every year there are a small number of common and sandhill cranes. Depending on the year, the demoiselle, Siberian and red-crowned cranes have also been observed.

Recommended spot for crane observers

If you want to be certain of seeing a large flock of cranes, you should go to the Izumi Crane Observation Center. From the second floor and the rooftop of the observatory you can see the beautiful dancing cranes up close on the reclaimed land where they roost. The crane families are made up of a male and female and their children, and it is fun to watch these families.

Local specialty “Izumi Oyako Steak Gohan”

With Izumi branded chicken steak as the main dish, this set meal includes chicken salad, egg soup, raw egg and rice. It is a local delicacy. Izumi chicken is known for its tenderness and juicy taste.

Imutaike Prefectural Natural Park

In the city of Satsumasendai next to Izumi there is the Imutaike Prefectural Natural Park. There is a crater lake that is surrounded by seven somma, and it is a place where you can enjoy early blooming plum blossoms.

INFORMATION

Location/Access Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture
About 1 hour and 25 minutes by shuttle bus from Kagoshima Airport (JR Izumi Station).
Inquiries Izumi City Tourism Division
TEL 0996-63-2111
http://www.izumi-navi.jp/

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