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March 7, 2022
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Welcome Spring with the awakening of wildlife in the forests of Karuizawa with Hoshino Resorts

Capture life in Karuizawa through our Private Bird Watching program at HOSHINOYA Karuizawa and Asiatic Black Bear Watching with Picchio

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Private Bird Watching at HOSHINOYA Kaurizawa
, a luxury hotel in Nagano Prefecture, will be offering Private Bird Watching from 25 March to 31 May 2022. This is a program hosted at the Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary, situated next to HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, where guests staying at the hotel can enjoy a private, early morning session of bird watching with wildlife experts of Picchio, a wildlife conservation center. Tune in to the sounds of wild birds chirping amongst the rustling of the forest and spend the morning with sweets and a hot drink.

Characteristics of Private Bird Watching
Characteristic 1) A springtime only chance to encounter 25 varieties of wild birds
From March to May, various wild birds that have spent the winter in the south visit the Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At times, there are as many as 25 varieties of wild birds that can be observed in the forest. Spring is said to be the mating season of wild birds, and immediately after sunrise, males announce their territory and sing in unison to attract females. For example, the blue and white flycatcher, also known as the bluebird of happiness with its beautiful blue feathers can be seen as well as the narcissus flycatcher, also known as the Piccolo player of the forest with its sweet voice. Encounter wild birds that can only be seen during this season or listen in to their singing for a calming morning.

Characteristic 2) Sound of nature echoing in the early morning forest
This program is hosted in the early morning when there are few people so the sound of the wind and birds chirping can be heard clearly. In addition, Karuizawa is a place where the cold remains even in early spring so morning mist tends to occur due to the temperature difference from the night, and in the early morning, a mystical scene will spread in front of one’s eyes as the sunlight hits the mist. This activity is limited to 1 group per day so the vast forest of about 100 ha can be enjoyed all to themselves. The staff at Picchio devised a specific course for guests to be healed through the listening of the chirping of birds and during this course, their singing will be recorded. This recording can be listened not only in the guest rooms but can also be brought back home to listen at home.  

Asiatic Black Bear Watching with Picchio
, a wildlife conservation center in Nagano Prefecture, will be offering Asiatic Black Bear Watching from 21 to 28 April 2022. This is a trekking program with a bear expert to search for bears after hibernation. It is normally difficult to observe Asiatic Black Bears in the forest but during this season, when the leaves are yet to grow, the bears can be spotted from a safe, long distance. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the problem of bears appearing in residential areas. Through the experience of observing bears in the wild and the traces of bears left in the forest, this program was created with the hopes to provide a chance to think about the coexistence between humans and bears.

Characteristics of Asiatic Black Bear Watching Exploring and learning about Asiatic Black Bears
Guests will explore the forest with a bear expert from Picchio to look for wild bears and their traces. Bears cannot be found just by walking aimlessly inside the forest but with the expertise of the staff from Picchio, who is familiar with the ecology of bears in Karuizawa, areas where the bears are commonly seen will be introduced. Through the process of searching for bear claw marks, food traces, and excrement along a roadless road, guests can feel that they are exploring the habitat of wild bears. Whilst walking through the forest where the wild bears live, initiatives in Karuizawa for humans and bears to coexist will be introduced. The development of a garbage can for wild animals, which bears can never open, and other efforts to coexist without killing bears have produced promising results. As this program is limited to one group per day, guests can learn and ask questions to our experts. After returning from the forest, there will be some time to interact with the bear dogs, which was first introduced in Japan by Picchio, as a way to keep bears away from residential areas.

Details of Programs
Private Bird Watching in a glance
Period: 25 March to 31 May 2022
Time: 5:00 am to 7:00 am
Price: Starts from 33,880 JPY (includes tax and service charge, excludes accommodation fee)
Price includes: bird watching, recording the voices of birds, sweets, and a hot drink using nuts and berries
Place: Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary
Available: to guests staying at HOSHINOYA Karuizawa *Other bird watching activities are available to day visitors. Please visit Picchio's website for more information.
Capacity: 1 group per day (maximum of 4 people per group)
Reservation: required two days in advance
・Time is subject to change depending on the time of sunrise of the day.
・Rental of binoculars, wild bird encyclopedia, shoes, raincoats, rain boots are available.
・This program will be canceled only under stormy weather conditions.

Asiatic Black Bear Watching in a glance
Period: 21 to 28 April 2022
Time: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Price: Adults (13 years old or older) 22,000 JPY per person (includes tax)
Price includes: lunch, insurance fee, rental fee (binoculars, telescopes, etc)
Capacity: 1 group per day (maximum of 2 people per group)
Reservation: required five days in advance
・Time is subject to change
・Bears are wild animals, so they are not always in the same place. Depending on the condition of the bear and the weather, observation may not be possible.

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