What wildlife can I see in Japan

Japan nature & wildlife

Japan is a beautiful country, especially when you go out into nature. Volcanoes, hot sulfur springs, dream beaches with surf waves - who would have thought that Japan is so diverse? During your stay in Japan you shouldn't miss Japan's natural highlights!

geography

The Island nation of Japan is located off the east coast of Asia and is completely surrounded by the sea. The more than 6000 islands that belong to Japan extend from north to south, which is why the different islands offer a very different climate, as well as different plant and animal species. Due to the location on an interface there are four architectural panels earthquake not uncommon in Japan. Lighter earthquakes in particular are already part of the agenda here and the Japanese population is well prepared for larger earthquakes thanks to the many exercises in schools and workplaces.

Seasons

In Japan, as with us, there are four Seasonswhich differ greatly in terms of weather and climate. Even the winter returns to all Japanese islands. While there is often a lot of snow in the north on Hokkaido, it is usually a little milder on the south island of Kyushu. This is also where it's most likely to come back spring becomes. Accordingly, finds the famous Cherry blossom festival (hanami) a little earlier in the south. The Japanese summer is very hot all over the country and there is high humidity, which we are not so used to. Due to the climate, this is also the time of year when it rains. It is warm, but there is often monsoon-like precipitation and thunderstorms, which usually pass quickly. In summer, however, many festivals are celebrated, for which people gather in parks or at shrines and temples to taste traditional Japanese food at the many stalls. In the evening there is often Fireworks (hanabi) and in July find the traditional O-bon dances instead of. The autumn in Japan offers a very special atmosphere. The Coloring of the leaves, especially that of the maple trees is the highlight and an absolute one must see in this season.

Tip: Kyoto is a very special destination if you want to marvel at the splendor of autumn leaves.

Animals and Plants in Japan

As you can probably imagine, a very special flora and fauna awaits you in Japan, which is very different from Germany. You may have already got an impression of the diversity of nature in Japan through documentaries and films. It will then be particularly exciting to finally be able to experience all these things in reality. So that you know what the different animal and plant species are, we have described some for you here.

Animals

Japan's land area is relatively small, but offers enough space for a rich biodiversity of birds, mammals, insects and marine animals. One of the animals that you will definitely come across in summer is the cicada. The Singing cicada spreads the summer through their tones and chants, which sound different depending on the species. Animals you especially find in the city Nara on the main island of Hunshu are Deer and roe deer. Over 1000 of these animals live in Nara, in the middle of the city, because they are considered sacred there. You can also find them on the small one Miyajima Islandwhich is southwest of Hiroshima off the coast of Honshu. The famous ones can also be found on Miyajima Japanese macaques, a red-faced species of monkey. A special feature of these monkeys is that they can swim in hot springs in winter Onsen, Swimming. Of course there are also domesticated cats and dogs in Japan. While one can often see a breed of cats with a short tail on the streets, one can find in Japanese apartments and the many Cat cafes very different types of cats. A breed of dog famous for Japan is the Shiba - Inu. Next to the Akita - Inu the Shiba is the most loyal companion of the Japanese. However, the most famous Akita is the dog Hachikowho waited for him every day at the Shibuya train station even after the death of his owner. Today is there that Hachiko monumentwhich has become a popular meeting place.

In Hokkaido it is also the one asiatic black bear represented. You can find them on Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu japanese serau goat, as well as the Japanese national bird, the Colored pheasant. Often times you will too Turtles and Koi carp found in lakes or ponds, such as in Ohori-Koen Park in Fukuoka.

plants

Due to the partially subtropical climate, Japan offers a great variety of plants, which consists of huge forest-covered mountains and hills, as well as aquatic plants and many types of flowers. A specialty that you don't get to see in Germany is that Bamboo forest, in which many bamboo plants stand tall and densely populated. The many lakes and ponds in parks or temples are often covered with water lilies. In Beppu one finds for example Lily padthat are so big and stable that a small child can stand on them. As mentioned above, the japaneseMaple tree a widespread species of tree in Japan that often adorns the surroundings of shrines and temples. Especially in autumn the leaves of the maple tree turn their red-orange tones and thus unfold their full splendor. Japan's landscape is of course also of the many Rice fields embossed, which extend finely greenish over wide areas. In addition to rice, there will also be Atzuki beans, as Radish, tea and ginger cultivated. A type of agriculture that is perhaps a bit unusual for us is the cultivation of seaweed (nori), which is essential for Japan's cuisine and enormously important for its economy.

Nature and geography in Japan - island guide

As already described above, the Japanese islands are different Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu due to their location in the climate, as well as flora and fauna. We have a little one here Island guide prepared for you who gave you a few facts about the four main Japanese islands as well as the Okinawa archipelago is betrayed.

Hokkaido

The northernmost of the four main Japanese islands is also the seventh largest island in the world. The island is best known for its large and natural National parkswhich are a popular destination for Japanese and tourists. The largest city on Hokkaido is Sapporo; the name may sound familiar to you from the beer of the same name that is brewed here. In spring and summer there are large fields of flowers to marvel at. Other conceivable destinations would be the Asahikawa Zoo, the Toya lakewho is near the still active Usu volcano lies or the islets Rebun and Reshiri. In winter, Hokkaido is the ideal place to go skiing due to the heavy snowfall and cold weather. A well-known ski area near Sapporo is, for example, this Tomamu Ski Resort. In addition to skiing, you can also go ice skating and visit an igloo village. In February takes place in Sapporo the annual Winter festival instead, while ice sculptures are exhibited throughout the city for viewing. Another experience on the North Island of Japan is the Noboribetsu hot springs. Here you can in addition to bathing, or even while bathing, in the Onsen also marvel at a natural landscape. Other attractions are beyond that Cranes in Kushiro National Park, Whale and dolphin watching off the coast of Hokkaido and the one built in the 19th century Russian Orthodox Church in Hakodate.

Honshu

The Japanese ‘main island’ Honshu is due to the many historical cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima certainly the most visited place by tourists. Indeed, if you want to get an overview of Japan's culture and way of life, Honshu is the perfect destination for your trip. The largest of the Japanese islands has a wide variety of destinations and activities to offer. In addition to the famous cities to which also Osaka, Nara and Nagoya belong, there are also many natural highlights to discover on Honshu. One of the most famous natural attractions in Honshu is of course the Fuji-san. Japan's highest mountain is located in the west of Tokyo Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. A visit here is not only worthwhile to see the shy Fuji-san, but also for the historical city of Hakone, as well as the five lakes and the Shiraito waterfalls. Another national park on the main island is located north of Tokyo. The Nikko National Park offers on the one hand large shrines and temples that are embedded in breathtaking nature. Nikko, with its many hiking and pilgrimage routes, is definitely a suitable destination for nature lovers. They are recommended for mountaineers Japanese Alpsthat can be found in the center of the island. Consisting of three mountains, they offer some opportunities for hiking and mountaineering, as well as staying overnight in a Japanese mountain hut. A mixture of nature, tradition and small-town Japanese life can be found in Kamakura. Here is the famous large bronze Buddha statue to marvel at. In addition, one of Japan's most popular beaches can be found in Kamakura, the Yuigahama Beach, as well as up to ten important temples and shrines.

Shikoku

The smallest Japanese island is possibly a little more inconspicuous than the other islands, but no less worth seeing Shikoku. Located in the south of the main island of Honshu and east of Kyushu, Shikoku brings together the best of the worlds of modernity and tradition. Famous for the 88 temple pilgrimage path, Shikoku is also an interesting destination for hiking enthusiasts who want to experience Japan on foot. This pilgrimage takes you to 88 different temples if you cover the entire distance of over 1000 kilometers. Another attraction for particularly active travelers is the bridge bike route, which can be used to cycle from Shikoku to Honshu. The Shimanami Kaido Bridge takes the cyclist across many small islands from Imabari to Onomichi on the main island of Honshu. One way is approx. 60 km long, if you want to go back you have to cycle the whole thing back again. You can then relax in one of Japan's oldest onsen, the Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama. Outside the city regions there are Shikoku mountains, rivers and vast areas of untouched nature. Also off the coast is the smallest of the four main Japanese islands Whale watching possible. In addition, the coral reefs off Shikoku offer an exciting one Diving landscape.

Kyushu

The fourth main island is located in the south of Japan - Kyushu. The South Island is famous for its natural beauty. Breathtaking coasts, beaches and partially active volcanoes make the traveler's heart beat faster. A highlight in Kyushu is definitely the small island Nokonoshimaoff the coast Fukuokas lies. The mini island known as ‘Flower Island’ is easy to reach by ferry and offers relaxed hiking routes through partly untouched Japanese natural diversity. There are various species of insects to marvel at, as well as the flower park on the top of the hill, which you hike up to. You can relax further on a small sandy beach, which offers a great view of Fukuoka's skyline. A few hours from Fukuoka is located Beppu, or also ‘Hell of Japan’. Beppu is a special destination, not only because of its onsen and spa facilities, but also because of its farbigen springs and geysersthat can be visited. You can also go mountain hiking on Kyushu. Namely in Kirishima- Yaku National Park, in the southern part of the island. There are mainly active and inactive volcanoes to marvel at. In addition, the many routes can be hiked long and extensively. The island is very close by Yakushima, a UNESCO world natural heritage due to its rich diversity of plants. A specialty of Yakushima are the old cedars (yaku-yugi) that have populated the island for centuries. ‘Jamon-Sugi’ is the oldest of the fir trees and therefore definitely a must see. Other attractions on Yakushima are the Turtlesthat lay their eggs on the beach during spring and summer, plus numerous onsen and hiking trails. The mystical forests of the island served as a template for the world of ‘Princess Mononoke’ in the anime of the same name by the Japanese production house Ghibli. There are hardly any shy monkeys and deer between the many branches and moss-covered stones.

Okinawa

The Okinawa Prefecture includes three archipelagos in the south of the main Japanese islands. Besides the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands, there are also those Okinawa Islands, which are known for their beautiful sandy beaches. The subtropical climate creates that holiday feeling here, even during winter. If it gets too cold for you in the more northerly parts of Japan, you could plan a trip to Okinawa, where it can get up to 20 ° C even in winter. Okinawa is particularly interesting for nature lovers, as it has forests, rivers and other natural spectacles to offer in addition to the beautiful beaches. in the Yanbaru - forest, for example, there are numerous species of exotic animals and plants, some of which are even native to the area. The sea also offers one because of its clarity, as well as its coral reefs and schools of fish Dream setting for divers. In addition, in Okinawa Other water and beach activities are also offered. For example, jet skiing and kayaking are very popular sports. The latter is also on the Hija river possible. There is also a hiking trail along the Hijas, ideal for hiking and walking. You may come across this every year Kappa Festival, in which the river god is honored with games and music. Other attractions in Okinawa include the Mariyudu waterfall, as well as the Manzamo cliffsthat offer a wonderful view of the sea.

The archipelago is not only a popular travel destination because of its nature. Many people from all over the world travel to Okinawa to relax in one of the luxury vacation resorts. In addition to wellness and beach walks, there are various offers for outdoor activities. Okinawa offers the traveler a colorful Mixture of relaxation, outdoor fun and unique naturewhich certainly makes the trip very worthwhile.

From here there is also the opportunity to visit the other island groups in Okinawa Prefecture. However, this is often only possible by plane. For example, do you want to go to the Yaeyama Islands travel, you would first have to go to the airport on Ishigaki Island, which is the largest of the Yaeyama Islands. From there you can take the ferry to the surrounding, smaller islands, such as Kuro or Kohama to travel.