In winter 2017, John and Rosamund Macfarlane travelled to Japan. Although the main emphasis of their trip was to photograph the wildlife to be seen in winter, they also had fascinating glimpses into the culture and customs of Japan. After a few days exploring Tokyo, they visited the snow monkeys high in the Jigokudani (“Hell’s Valley”) mountains of mainland Japan, these macaques being famous for keeping warm in thermal pools during winter. They then travelled to Hokkaido, the northern island of the Japanese archipelago, to spend time with whooper swans that fly from Siberia to spend the winter on geothermally heated lakes, and also the rare and elegant Japanese red-crowned cranes which are known for their elaborate courtship dances and which feature prominently in Japanese culture. Trips out to the sea ice on the Sea of Okhotsk from the Nemuro Peninsula on the north-east coast of Hokkaido resulted in close and exciting encounters with many magnificent Steller’s and white-tailed sea eagles – the former being one of the largest species of eagle, with a wing-span of up to 8 feet. Contact with foxes and Sitka deer added to the variety of wildlife experiences. The talk will be richly illustrated with photographs and AV sequences.
John and Rosamund have lived in Loweswater, Cumbria for 10 years and are keen, award-winning amateur photographers, travellers and walkers. Most of their trips around the world are focused on wildlife and travel photography and recent destinations have included the Falklands, western Mongolia in late winter to visit the eagle hunters, Southern Africa, Svalbard and the polar seas, Scotland and the Colorado Rockies.