Crane Observation Center
The graceful dance of more than 10,000 cranes is worth watching
It is said that cranes started to arrive in this place in around 1700, a few decades after the reclamation project in Arasaki, the current Izumi City, by the Satsuma Domain and Shimazu Domain (domains were the administrative units in those days set by the Edo Shogunate). The area was registered as a natural monument and sanctuary as one of the Japan's largest wintering places for cranes in 1921, and the Izumi crane migration grounds were designated as a special natural monument in 1952.
The total area of the site is about 254 ha. You can enjoy a 360 panoramic view from the observation center, and the magnificent nature and the behavior of the cranes will take your breath away. The migration of cranes used to be seen in several places in Kyushu, but currently Izumi City is the only place where cranes come to spend the winter. It is such a major migration ground, with about 13,000 cranes here every year.
The types of cranes also vary. You can observe hooded cranes, white-necked cranes, common cranes, and sometimes Sandhill cranes, Siberian cranes and Demoiselle cranes. Information on cranes is shown in panels and footage in the Observation Center building. Spend a few hours here and you may become a "crane master."
Address: 2478-4 Syo, Izumi City, Kagoshima
Hours open to visitors: 09:00-17:00
Admission Fee: 210 yen (Adult), 100 yen (elementary school students and junior high school students)
Closed: Open 7 days a week during the business period (closed from the fourth Monday of March to the end of October)
Directions: Train: About 20 minutes from Izumi Station, which is on the Kyushu Shinkansen (about 70 minutes from JR hakata Station) by car
Car: About 40 minutes from Ashikita Interchange on the Minami-Kyushu Expressway (free parking lot available)