Crane Observation Center 出水市ツル観察センター
The largest migration grounds in Japan
The Izumi Crane Observation Center is the best place to witness the natural spectacle of over 10,000 cranes migrating to Izumi from Siberia for the winter months. The center is open between October and March each year.
Cranes are believed to have first appeared in Izumi around the beginning of the 18th century
The best time to see the cranes is at dawn
How to Get There
The Izumi Crane Observation Center is best accessed by car. However, infrequent bus service also operates.
The nearest train station to the Izumi Crane Observation Center is Izumi Station. The center is 20 minutes by car from the station and there is on-site parking. An infrequent tourist bus also departs from Izumi Station.
A natural spectacle not to be missed
Cranes started to arrive in Izumi in the 1700s after a land reclamation project was completed under the orders of the Shimazu clan. Today, over 10,000 cranes migrate to Izumi each year between October and December, remaining until March when they return to the colder climate of Siberia.
You can observe the birds engaging in their graceful mating dance and feeding throughout the day. The Observation Center is located right in front of the migration grounds and offers amazing views of these majestic birds.
Taking flight against the rising sun
Several species of crane migrate to the site each year, including hooded cranes, white-necked cranes, common cranes, Sandhill cranes, Siberian cranes and Demoiselle cranes. Information on the birds is on display in the Observation Center building. If you are an early riser, you can make your way to the Observation Center at dawn to see the cranes take flight as they set off to find food for the day.