RFI Birding Japan

To: Pat OMalley <>
Subject: RFI Birding Japan
From: Rob Geraghty <>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 07:33:58 -0700 (PDT)
--- On Thu, 8/13/09, Pat OMalley <> wrote:
> Off to Kyoto next week and should have a day to two to
> spare for birding. As I recall Japanese field guides are
> non-existent in English. Can anyone advise - also, any
> birding spots in the vicinity.

Hi Pat,

I saw a Blue Heron (but I'd have to check the correct species name) at 
Kinkakuji (the golden shrine) in Kyoto and a Pygmy Woodpecker at Kurama Dera.  
I don't remember much otherwise about birds in Kyoto, but there were probably 
the common species like the ubiquitous Japanese crows and Bulbuls.  There's 
lots of nice forest around and through Kyoto but I was disappointed by the low 
populations of birds in Japan in general.  I saw more species around Hakone 
near Tokyo and a few unusual ones around the forests of Nikko.

I bought a guide to Japanese birds in Shinjuku but only the names were in roman 
characters.  They had quite a lot of english language books in the same 
bookstore (Kinokuniya) and perhaps if I'd asked for help they may have had a 
guide in english.  They have a store in Kyoto.  There's some websites which 
list Japanese species and have photos.

Kyoto Shochikuza, 415 Sakuranomachi, Shin-Kyogoku dori Sanjo-sagaru, 
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Pref. 604-8035 (075)229-6681

Unfortunately my time in Kyoto was very limited compared to the 6 months I 
lived in Ibaraki prefecture.  I saw the main sights of Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji and 
Gion but missed the interior of Nijojo (Nijo Castle) and its nightingale floor. 
 I particularly wanted to see Kurama Dera since it's the birthplace of Reiki, 
but it's a bit complicated to get to.  If you can get there, the forest is 
beautiful but bear in mind you have to go into the temple entrance near the 
train station to get to the top of Mt Kurama and there's a charge for entry.

Hope you enjoy your trip - hopefully it may have started to cool down in Kyoto. 
I was there in July and it was extremely humid, hot and rainy.  Autumn would be 
fantastic; Kinkakuji has many maples in the grounds.



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