Home » The greatest photo guide to Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

The greatest photo guide to Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park is a favorite for the city’s birds.  It has about 200 species of them.   Some also drop by while on their annual migrations.  With so many in one place, local birders love it.  I am happy to admit I am one of them!

grey heron at Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park
A grey heron wading on the mudflats.

The park is a fantastic place when you consider it is on the edge of a busy port.  It’s true.  From inside the park, you can see industrial areas and boats outside. But that doesn’t matter because what is inside is incredible.  The ponds (lakes might be better) connect directly to Tokyo Bay, so the tides influence them and attract specific birds.  And there are also freshwater ponds that attract other types of birds. Then, there are the streams, wooded areas, and grassy fields.  It is fantastic to think that this ecosystem and its occupants exist inside a massive port area.

bird observation post at Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

You need to be aware that going to this park in summer can be a trial.  Several years ago, I visited it for the first time in August.  It was scorching hot and humid, typical Tokyo weather.  So, after doing the fifteen-minute walk from Ryutsu Center (the closest train station), I was already covered in sweat.  


And upon entering the wetlands, which the park is, the “sweat meter” went up another notch.  It wasn’t until I did some reading later that I found out the best time for birding was in either spring or autumn, definitely not summer, especially not the middle of summer.  Still, a visit in that season wouldn’t be a waste as there is a lot to photograph.

great cormorant on tree

The park is excellent not only for the birds.  It has many comforts for the humans observing them.  Each pond has at least one hut (or large blinds if you prefer) from where you can shoot.  They are sparse inside, but there are chairs and benches.  

If you want more, there is the four-story Nature Center.  It has air conditioning and is very spacious. Large windows face a large freshwater pond.  You can also browse bird books and consult with staff members (sorry, I can’t guarantee they speak English).  One great thing about the observation areas is that they have free-to-use high-quality telescopes.

great cormorant

Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park doesn’t have restaurants or kiosks, but there is an open field with well-maintained tables and benches, so if you want to have a picnic or break, that is no problem.  There are lots of drink machines and toilets too. The park does have scheduled events on weekends to attract visitors. Still, most of them are in Japanese with the occasional bilingual event (contact the admin office for full details).

If you love birds, Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park is an incredible place and should be on your bucket list of places to visit in the city. The variety of birdlife there is terrific and well worth a visit for any photographer. You can see its website here.

great egret at Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park
A great egret searching for dinner.

A short history of the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

As with many areas in the city, the area was covered by Tokyo Bay a long time ago!  Eventually, it was reclaimed and became the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, but grasslands remained along the shoreline, which attracted birds.  Many people came to see the value of protecting them and the area for future generations.

That led to the park opening in October 1989.  The markets retained a little over thirty-eight hectares of land, and the birds got almost twenty-five.  Now, the city has a beautiful nature reserve.

bird observation post
The riverside observation post.

What birds are at Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park?

A partial list includes:

  • Brown-Eared Bulbul
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Cormorants
  • black-winged stilts
  • Egrets
  • Grebes
  • Herons
  • Naumann’s Thrush

Are there any problems at the park?

  • In summer, it will be hot and humid.  You will be drenched in sweat.  Make sure you keep yourself hydrated, and;
  • With birding, the longer your lens, the better.  If you go there with a smartphone or a point-and-shoot, you’ll struggle to capture the birds.
  • Bird observation positions
  • Four (4) observation huts
  • Two (2) blinds
grey heron flying over Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park pond
A grey heron flying over the main pond.

Are binoculars available for loan?

Yes, get them from the ticket office.

Where is Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park?

The park is near Ryutsu Center on the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line.  From the station, it’s about a fifteen-minute walk.

Here is a Google map:

Car parking

The park has a free car park, but it has space for only fifteen (15) vehicles.

hydrangea flowers in Tokyo
Hydrangeas in summer.

Opening hours

  • February to October – from 9 am to 5 pm (with last admission at 4:30 pm)
  • November to January – 9 am to 4:30 pm (with last admission at 4 pm)
  • Just be aware that the park is closed on Mondays and public holidays.  And be further aware that if a public holiday falls the Monday, it will be open but closed the following day (i.e., Tuesday).

Admission costs

Three hundred yen (¥300)

Public Restrooms

Available.

number four birding hut at Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park
The number 4 bird observation hut.

External links about birding in Tokyo

Other photo spots near Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

Wrapping up

If you love birds, Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park is an incredible place and should be on your bucket list of places to visit in the city.  The variety of birdlife there is terrific and well worth a visit for any photographer.  Please come back to check this article in the future, as the pictures will change over time.

You can see the park’s online English pamphlet here. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. And for those birders out there, have you visited this place? Let us know if you have.

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