Wildlife Tours

Wildlife Tour of Kinkowan Bay's Tidal Flats

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Discover the rich biodiversity of the Shigetomi Beach tidal flats

Shigetomi Beach is made up of a 53-hectare expanse of tidal flats, which are protected by Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park. These sandy flats, which are covered and uncovered by the tides’ rise and fall each day, are an important ecosystem in Kinkowan Bay. They are the habitat and feeding ground for many species of wildlife.

The tidal flats of Shigetomi Beach formed 30,000 years ago when a massive volcanic eruption covered the area with ash and lava. A cavity opened up below the volcano after the expulsion of molten magma. In the aftermath, the volcano collapsed into the cavity. Seawater flowed in, creating Kinkowan Bay and the Shigetomi tidal flats, a rare sea caldera.

On a guided exploration of the flats, you will discover the animals that inhabit the area, including dolphins, migratory birds and small creatures like crabs and mollusks. Observe western ospreys catching fish and beautiful kingfishers that fly in the area year-round. Whimbrels visit Shigetomi Beach in spring and autumn, and from October to May, you may be able to spot the endangered black-faced spoonbill, recognized by their spatula-like beak. Depending on the season, you may see fiddler crabs, sentinel crabs and sand bubbler crabs. From March to October, look out for sea snails. In the distance, you may be able to spot bottlenose dolphins playing in the waves.

During the tour, you will learn about how the Shigetomi Beach tidal flats purify the seawater in the bay and how the bay’s small creatures play an important role in supporting the area’s ecosystem. Your expert guide will help you classify wildlife and find examples of the stunning biodiversity in this beautiful tidal region.

wildlife tour   activity   guided   walking  
Available Year-round
Duration 90 min
Note NPO Kusunokishizenkan
Cost Adults 3,000 yen; Children (age 13 and under) 1,500 yen
Foreign Languages English (with advance notice)
Contact office@kusunokishizenkan.com
Phone (+81) 0995-67-6042
Email sanka@kusunokishizenkan.com
Website http://kusunokishizenkan.com (JP)

Wildlife Tours

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