Watch the dance of the red-crowned crane

The red-crowned crane has long played a special part in Japanese mythology - it is believed to represent luck, longevity, and fidelity, but its numbers have plummeted in recent times, and it is among the rarest cranes in the world. Standing 1.5 metres tall with a wingspan of 2.5 metres this beautiful bird is one of the largest of the crane family. There is a resident population of red-crowned cranes at the Tsurui Crane Sanctuary close to Kushiro city on Hokkaido. The cranes can be seen year-round but it is best to try and time your visit with the cranes’ famous mating dance, which usually takes place in February and March.

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