Central Honshu, Japan

Ursus_thibetanus_japonicus-5

I just spent a week in central Honshu, mostly in the mountains (Nikko, Oze and Chibusangaki National Parks, Tateshina area, and Mt. Fuji). A cold front passed over during that time; it caused me a lot of suffering because it wasn’t in the forecast and I didn’t have proper clothes, but the clouds blocked the moonlight and small mammal activity went through the roof every time the rain stopped, especially when the temperature began to climb again. I saw more rarities than in all my previous trips to Honshu combined. I don’t have time to write a detailed report (moving my family to New Jersey on July 2), but if you are going to the area this year, I can send you some tips. Otherwise, wait for my book Mammal Watching in Japan, to be released (probably only in electronic form) by the end of the year.
Here is brief location info:
Mountain mole, Shinto shrew: 36.136988N 137.555444E; Lesser Japanese mole: 36.051197N 138.255061E; Eastern long-fingered myotis, Japanese barbastelle: night-roosting in an abandoned hotel at 36.873935N 139.074664E; True’s shrew-mole, Japanese flying squirrel, Japanese squirrel, birdlike noctule: loop trail at 36.114735N 137.613406E; Azumi shrew, Smith’s red-backed vole: road above 36.113733N 137.596201E; Azumi shrew, ermine, fraternal myotis: trail starting from 6.769517N 139.452172E; Japanese water shrews (2 individuals chasing each other in and out of the water): 36.790960N 139.430424E, also frosted myotis night-roosting in a woodpecker hole along the access trail; Northern bat, Japanese long-eared bat, Ikonnikov’s myotis: abandoned houses around 36.138284N 137.675539E; ermine, Anderson’s red-backed vole: 36.124127N 137.555476E; least weasel: 36.104220N 137.626499E; Asian black bear: 36.174465N 137.450046E; Anderson’s red-backed vole, Far Eastern myotis: trail starting from 35.336465N 138.736884E; Norway rat (native): 35.849330N, 140.661232E. Japanese flying squirrel, Japanese dormouse, lesser Japanese mouse and Asian particolored bats all present at Yamabiku-Sou (the mountain cabin described in Jon’s trip report, 36.005858N 138.364809E), and Endo’s pipistrelles and serows common along the access trail. Found a good place to see finless porpoises near Tokyo: take Kurihama-Kanaya ferry across Tokyo Bay and look near the small islet called Haidian, 35.2121196N 138.7351188E.
I hope to return to Japan and explore Hokkaido, Shikoku, Tsushima and some other islands and do a few more pelagic trips before finishing the book.

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