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Wildlife of Japan

Especially the ones you see in Winter

Going   to   Japan   is   not   all   about   what   you   do   on   your   board   or   your   skis. It   has   a   wide   array   of   wildlife,   and   whilst   some   hibernate   throughout the   winter   others   can   be   seen   straight   from   the   chairlifts. All   you   need is a little luck and to keep your eyes out. Animals you might see if you spend a few days on the slopes are: the    Japanese    serow    (a    very    large    antelope-goat    creature weighing   up   to   130   kg).   They   feed   on   leaves,   acorns   and   the buds of new leaves. the   Japanese   macaque   (snow   monkey)   which   is   the   world's   most northerly   primate.   One   way   it   manages   to   keep   warm   is   by bathing   in   the   hot   springs,   and   there   are   tours   to   go   and   see these   monkeys   running   from   Hakuba   which   you   can   tag   onto your   ski   tour.   Lately   they   have   also   been   easy   to   see   seen   right in the middle of some of the runs on Happo ski resort. the   Japanese   hare   is   endemic   to   Japan,   and   changes   colour   from brown   to   white   in   winter.   It   can   be   distinguished   by   the   black tips on it's ears the   Japanese   Racoon   dog   is   actually   a   distant   relative   of   the dog,   and   not   a   racoon   at   all.   It   is   omnivorous   eating   insects, rodents, leaves, bulbs and fruit. the   Asiatic   black   bear   hibernates   throughout   from   October   to April      so   you   are   unlikely   to   see   it   unless   you   are   in   Japan   for spring   skiing.   They   are   very   uncommon   but   if   seen   should   be given a wide berth. the   Red   Fox   is   native   to   Japan   and   can   be   seen   from   time   to time.  

Footprints in the snow

Whilst you are on that ski lift, take time to look for animal footprints. They are literally everywhere whenever you pass through a forested zone. Hopefully the pictures below be of aid to you in identifying which animal they are from.
Japanese Fox footprints
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